The Sound of All Things

Myron Uhlberg, illus. by Ted Papoulas. Peachtree, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-56145-833-2
Based on Uhlberg's childhood as the hearing son of two deaf parents, this picture book follows a family through a day in 1930s Coney Island. Opening as father and son plummet "down the shaking mountain" of a roller coaster, the story exudes familial tenderness as the boy and his parents stroll the boardwalk, gaze at the ocean, and eat at their favorite Chinese restaurant. Throughout the day, the boy's father asks him to describe the sounds he cannot hear—a ritual that annoys the boy occasionally, but that he grows to appreciate, especially after he discovers a book of poetry at the library, full of verbal imagery he can share with his father. Painted in lush acrylic and gouache, newcomer Papoulas's illustrations are a love letter to Coney Island at its heyday, the period clothing and gleaming buildings placing readers in the thick of the crowds. While the exchanges between father and son form the heart of the story, Uhlberg (A Storm Called Katrina) also describes, sensitively and powerfully, how the man uses all of his senses to better understand sound. Ages 6–10. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/15/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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