BARTLEBY SPEAKS! by Robin Cruise

BARTLEBY SPEAKS!

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Wee toddler Bartleby is almost as inscrutable as his Melvillean namesake, though a sight more cooperative. He gurgles and coos, chortles and clucks—he just doesn’t speak. The distress of the rest of the Huddle family is cacophonous: Mama sings opera, Papa plays the cello, big sister Isadora tap-dances and even poodle Ludwig barks—all complete with loud-looking sound effects—hoping to inspire the jug-eared boy to join in the family conversation. He smiles and says not a word, though, till his third birthday, when his equally jug-eared Grampy takes Bartleby out to the porch for some mutual quiet time. When the boy blows out the candles on his cake, he speaks his wish: “Listen.” Hawkes accompanies Cruise’s gently pointed text with characteristically comic line-and-color cartoons, varying vignettes with full- and double-page spreads that focus readers’ attention exactly where it needs to be, modulating noise and silence through artful pacing. A sweetly underscored paean to the beauty of quiet. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-374-30514-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2009




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