Poor Mr. Bear. When Mrs. Bear’s loud snores prevent him from falling asleep in their bed, Mr. Bear decides to find somewhere else to sleep. Alas, no matter which part of the house he goes, peace and, consequently, sleep continue to evade him.
Anyone familiar with high-rise living will be able to relate to the residents of the noisy building in this book, each of whom has to contend with some rather strange noises travelling down from the apartment above them — never mind the fact that most of them are guilty of making a racket themselves.
Mr. Winky loves all the different sounds made by the clocks in his cheerful little shop — that is, until Mr Glum enters the shop one day and summarily dismisses them as “awful noise” through which he can’t hear himself think.
Much has been said about the importance of good communication skills. But in a noisy world where everyone is fighting to be heard, literally or metaphorically, it’s easy to forget that it’s just as important to listen — whether it’s to the people around us or simply quietly soaking in our environments.
Loud sounds in general can be discomforting, and incessant thunder, accompanied by flashing lightning and pouring rain, can be especially intimidating. As we’ve mentioned in our earlier review for the similarly themed and named Boom! Boom! Boom!, the best thing to do during such cold, stormy nights is to curl up in bed with a comforting book — better yet, one with a story set on a cold, stormy night.
Living in Singapore, located just a smidge above the Equator, we are no strangers to torrential tropical rains and thunderstorms, which occur often enough throughout the year. Some of these storms can be quite frightening — particularly if you’re caught out on the streets with or without a flimsy umbrella, or worse, driving on wet roads with barely any visibility (save for the sight of flashing lightning) and to the soundtrack of cracking thunder and a crying baby (alas this happened to us once). And even if you’re safe at home, the howling winds pounding on your windows and the crackling sound of thunder can be quite unsettling even for grown-ups, let alone little children.
Reading Sounds of the Wild: Ocean is quite possibly the next best thing to bringing your kids to the ocean, or better yet, deep-sea diving.
Since the latter is not feasible and it’s unlikely that most kids will be lucky enough to get a chance to get up close to marine animals, this book does an amazing job of bringing the sights and sounds of the ocean right to them.
Toddle Waddle is a quirky, original book where each illustration (by Nick Sharratt) is accompanied by one or two words that succinctly describe either the sounds ‘heard’ or actions seen, e.g. a toddler is thus accompanied by ‘toddle’, while the duck is accompanied by ‘waddle’. In the end, we see a whole procession of people and animals with their accompanying descriptors: very cute.
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? is a silly and fun rhyming book about the different sounds that we hear. The text encourages kids to mimic them as Mr Brown does — although, when you read it out loud, you can’t really help but do it too!
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! is a story about a house with made-up creatures whose names rhyme with common household items — all told in rhyming text. There are two versions of this book — a condensed board-book version and a longer edition with more rhymes. I much prefer the board-book version, which is a zippy, fun read that is great for babies who have a short attention span, and is just the right size for small hands to hold.
Here’s a cute sung version of the board book for your listening pleasure: