PICTURE BOOKS : Chirp! by Jamie A. Swenson & Listen by Gabi Snyder

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Chipmunk loves to sing.  She chirps all the time, day or night.  Her songs reflect her feelings: happiness, sadness, or frustration.  But she gets lonely and wants a friend to sing with her.  So she goes looking for one.  And she finds a pinecone to join her at her rock, but pinecone can't sing.  Chipmunk then wants to add log to her group of friends, but she can't move it.  Raccoon hears Chipmunk singing and comes to help, but even together they can't move the log.  Can Moose help move the log?  Will Chipmunk ever find a friend to sing with?

Swenson's story of looking for friendship in the wrong places rings with truth.  Yet Chipmunk succeeds in finding a friend.  This sweet story is a powerful reminder of how friends can be found in the most unexpected places and unexpected ways.  Magoon's digital illustrations highlight Chipmunk's sweet nature  and heart-rending songs.  I especially enjoyed the way he turns Chipmunk's music into color and patterns. A sweet story about sharing what we love with our friends.

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The world is a big, noisy place and it's easy to get lost in the noise.  Snyder's story of a little girl learning to listen to the world around her is not only cute but carries an important message.  The text describes talking the time to listen to not only the sounds around us, but to the people we meet.  The illustrations follow a young girl as she walks to school and goes through her day.  The text points out some of the sounds that the young girl notices because she takes the time to listen.  Not only does the girl notice sounds in the world around her but she listens to the words she hears at school both the unkind words and the feelings of a hurting friend.  The book demonstrates so beautifully the power found in developing the skill of listening.  A two-page spread at the end of the book gives additional information about listening.  A wonderful book that reminds all of us the power to be found in learning to listen.  


  1. Both look wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations, Jamie and Gabi.


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