LISTEN by Holly M. McGhee is a gentle, sweet book that leads readers towards empathy by reminding us all to slowly take in our surroundings and revel in our connectedness. Aimed at ages 4-7, it will work for slightly younger and much older children and adults as a tool for meditation and calm.
The repetitive structure and relaxed pace serve the picture book’s purpose in encouraging living in the moment and listening to our hearts – and observing with all our senses. The lovely illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre are at once detailed and simple; they suit the story perfectly.
Messages centered on connecting to the world around us, allowing nature to inspire and comfort, and hoping that a new generation will learn empathy for others and themselves intertwine throughout LISTEN. This is a wonderful read aloud (and read alone) book for the open-hearted of all ages.
Review by Kristin Wald