2016 in [Book] Review Award-Winning Books It's Monday What Are You Reading Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Love for Books and the Sound of Silence in NPR’s Best Picture Books of 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Fats here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.


Every year, National Public Radio releases their own Best Books list. Today, I’m happy to share two wonderful picture books that made it to NPR’s Book Concierge: [NPR’s] Guide to 2016’s Great Reads.

mr0123dA Child of Books

Authors/Illustrators: Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Publisher: Candlewick Press (2016)
ISBN-10: 0763690775
ISBN-13: 978-0763690779

Book blurb: Woven together by a simple story line, the one-of-a-kind illustrations in A Child of Books provide an unforgettable reading experience that will inspire and encourage readers of all ages to explore, question, and imagine timeless stories of their own. ♦

The book opens up with an image of a little girl sitting on a wooden raft and holding a book.

I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories
and upon my imagination I float.


The girl sails her raft across a sea of words and invites a young boy to join her for some adventures. They climbed over the mountains of make-believe, got lost in the forests of fairy tales, and slept in clouds of songs.


Included in the dedication page is a quote by Muriel Rukeyser: “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” Through stories and imagination, A Child of Books reminds readers that we live in world of endless possibilities. I enjoyed reading excerpts from beloved tales and nursery rhymes as they transformed into a sea of words, a mountain of stories, and a cloud of songs. Sam Winston’s typographical landscapes complement Oliver Jeffers’s whimsical artwork. It’s the perfect book for readers, storytellers, and wordsmiths. ♦

The Sound of Silencemr0123g

Author: Katrina Goldsaito
Illustrator: Julia Kuo
Publisher: Little Brown and Co (2016)
ISBN-10: 0316203378
ISBN-13: 978-0316203371

Book blurb: Join Yoshio on his journey through the hustle and bustle of the city to find the most beautiful sound of all. ♦

While on his way to school one rainy morning in Tokyo, Yoshio sees a koto player who played songs that tickled Yoshio’s ears! Yoshio asks the koto player what her favorite sound is.


“The most beautiful sound,” the koto player said, “is the sound of ma, of silence.”

The koto player doesn’t say anything else, which leaves Yoshio wondering: where can I find silence? The book follows Yoshio to school and back home as he searches for silence.


In the Afterword, author Katrina Goldsaito explains that the Japanese concept of ma is the silence between sounds. The Sound of Silence celebrates that beautiful “space” between sounds that is ever-present in our lives. I love how the book ends, how Yoshio feels the stillness inside him and realizes that silence had been there all along. Reading the book, I came to realize that the older I get, the more I appreciate the sound of silence. ♦

In Case You Missed It…

Revisit these IMWAYR posts that featured picture books from NPR’s Best Books of 2016:

Upcoming Reviews…

Also included in NPR’s Best Books of 2016 are the following:

  • Ida, Always
  • The Night Gardener
  • They All Saw a Cat
  • Thunder Boy, Jr.
  • Leave Me Alone

Stay tuned for reviews on these books!

Currently Reading…

7 comments on “[Monday Reading] Love for Books and the Sound of Silence in NPR’s Best Picture Books of 2016

  1. Both of these books look fantastic. I’ve never yet met and Oliver Jeffers’ title I didn’t like. The difference in colour between the cover and insides of The Sound of Silence is quite surprising.


  2. I’ve had The Name of the Wind on my bookshelf, waiting to be read, for ages. I’m excited to get started on it, but just haven’t had the time. I hope you enjoy it!

    My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post.


  3. I loved both of these books, and hope they’ll be shared and discussed widely in classrooms. There is much to consider in them! Thanks, Fats.


  4. Oh, I’m missing Tokyo so very much right now, I think I need to borrow The Sound of Silence! Although every time I see that cover I hear Simon and Garfunkel singing in my head… 😉


  5. I kind of gave up on Name of the Wind but then I don’t think I was in the mood for a big book when I still had so many books on my TBR!


  6. Great review! The book sounds interesting!


  7. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Of Silence and Reading – Gathering Books

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