Can Anybody Hear Me?
By Jessica Meserve
(Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780547028347, 32pp.)
Publication Date: September 2008
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Jack is quietwhich wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of his family wasn’t SO NOISY. No one can hear him over the sound of their own voices. So when Jack tells them he's going up the mountain one day, nobody hears him. And when night falls, nobody knows where he is. Now Jack will have to find his voice in order to help his family find him. This satisfying story is set against a rural western backdrop and features Jessica Meserve’s vivid illustrations, which burst with color and personality.
Jessica Meserve was born in New Hampshire, spent much of her childhood in England, and now lives in Canada. She studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and worked in publishing as a children's book designer before going freelance to pursue a career as an illustrator. This is the first book she has both written and illustrated.
"Quiet Jack, who lives on a farm, is overwhelmed by his big, noisy family--they don't seem to hear him at all. When he says he's going to climb the mountain, each of them hears something different. Ma makes him two pancakes, Granny starts to knit a red sweater, Pa hopes he can catch some big fish, and so on. At the top of a snow-covered peak, his yell, "Can anybody hear me?" is swallowed by the sky. Jack wishes for someone to answer him and is surprised when his stuffed bear replies, "I've always heard you." As the pair head home, they help a lost wolf cub, Jack scares off a bear with a loud growl, and they lose their way. Finally, his family hears him when he calls for help. After dinner, he uses his newly found big voice to shush everyone and tell of his day's adventures. The text is placed in and around the illustrations to good effect. Large bold type is used to represent the loud voices of Jack's family and, in the end, Jack's voice as well. The pictures aptly depict the idyllic countryside and the down-home charm of Jack's family and livestock. Despite the happy ending, some children may find Jack's invisibility a big unnerving, but it may resonate with others."--School Library Journal
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