Monday, June 14, 2004

The Sound of Day, The Sound of Night

O’Neill, Mary. 2003. THE SOUND OF DAY, THE SOUND OF NIGHT. Ill. by Cynthia Jabar. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0374371350
[Suggested Grade Levels 0-1]


This lovely picture book contains a poem written by Mary O’Neill, accompanied by illustrations from Cynthia Jabar, where a contrast is made between the different sounds and activities of day and night. The sounds of day include the sounds of breakfast and school and children playing. “Day sound is a muddle/of talking and yelling,/Turning of pages and/Uttering spelling,…” And so the story opens on the hustle and bustle of a busy day. After all the excitement and noise, the sounds of night bring a calmer and quieter pace to this story. “Cricket’s chirp,/family snores,/Squeakings in the/Walls and doors.”

The rhythm and beat of the words of the day poem are much more pronounced than that of the night, making the difference that much more noticeable. The illustrations of Cynthia Jabar, further emphasize the differences, as the bright and vivid colors of the day, make way for the softer more subtle tones of the night. The illustrations give another gift to this story; in fact, they add a second story line. The daytime activities show, not tell, of the preparations this family is making for their new addition: a baby is coming home! The nighttime illustrations show the warmth and togetherness this family shares on their first night home together. THE SOUND OF DAY, THE SOUND OF NIGHT is a sweet book to read anytime, day or night!

A listening exercise can be based on this book, where a teacher can record the sounds of various activities that occur during the day and at night. The children can listen and try to identify the noises.

This book can be used to discuss the different activities that children participate in during the day as opposed to those done during night, and the various sounds that can accompany them.

Other books about Night and Day:
Carr, Jan. DARK DAY, LIGHT NIGHT. ISBN 0786820144
Edens, Cooper. DAY AND NIGHT AND OTHER DREAMS. ISBN 0671749064
Pandell, Karen. BY DAY AND BY NIGHT. ISBN 091581126X
Tyers, Jenny. WHEN IT IS NIGHT AND WHEN IT IS DAY. ISBN 0395725466

By Marianne Follis

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