By Tania McCartney
$24.99, hardcover, EK Book
“Listen with your eyes, listen with your eyes, and sing everything you see.” It may seem an odd admission, but these lyrics from the kids’ song, I Can Sing a Rainbow are up there with my favourites. As a child (and still now) that linking of sight and sound struck me as both delightfully nonsensical and perfectly logical. The pairing works well in See Hear, too – in quite a sensory-embracing way, with simple, onomatopoeic adjectives by Tania McCartney and sweet, soft, watercolour illustrations by Jess Racklyeft. See Hear is a follow up to Smile Cry. Both books have employed a clever ‘flip’ feature, meaning they can be read in either direction, with ‘See’ on one side and ‘Hear’ on the other, meeting in a kind-of tie-in / baton-handover in the middle. This novelty factor and the evocative sensory words (‘hot pan sizzles’) are strengths, but readers will get the most out of this book (a lovely list of sounds and sights, essentially) by using it as a starting point to explore the world around them, and more specifically, the endless ways and words that can be used to describe it.
Angie Schiavone has a Master of Arts in Children's Literature and is the former children's book reviewer for The Sydney Morning Herald. She has been a judge for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, a restaurant reviewer and editor for the Good Food Guide, and a cookbook editor. She's also a mum to two book and food-loving kids.
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