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CAN YOU HEAR THE SEA? by Judy Cumberbatch


by Judy Cumberbatch & illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-58234-703-4
Publisher: Bloomsbury

A little girl’s imagination is unlocked when she stops and truly listens, setting aside the ordinary and releasing the extraordinary. Before Sarah’s grandpa leaves for town, he gives her a conch, telling her that if she listens carefully, she can hear the sea. Grandma says it’s nonsense, but Grandpa is larger than life in Sarah’s eyes, and she believes. Every day she listens to the shell, but she hears only the routine noises of her everyday life: the Reverend praying, clothes flapping, gossiping in the market and monkeys in the trees. At the end of the week, she goes to meet Grandpa, who has her close her eyes and really listen. In a font echoing the motion of the sea, Sarah finally hears “water crashing, waves pounding, pebbles rattling . . . ” Wilson-Max’s colorful acrylic artwork gives readers a window into a West African village. From the clothing and food, to the way washing and shopping are done, youngsters will be treated to a look at a different way of life. A beautiful tribute to intergenerational relationships, and a message to step out of the routine. (Picture book. 3-7)