Sunday, December 15, 2019

Review - The Best Sound in the World

The Best Sound in the World
by Cindy Wume
Date: 2020
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Roy is a lion and a sound catcher. He catches the sounds of the city and makes them into music, trying to avoid the annoying attentions of his neighbor, Jemmy. Feeling like his music isn’t good enough, Roy goes on a journey to find the best sound in the world for inspiration. He hears the pitter-patter of the rain in the forest, the wind whistling through the desert, and the hustle and bustle of the souk at sunrise, but none of it helps—he can’t decide which is the best sound. Just as he’s about to give up, he hears a familiar voice . . . can Jemmy teach him that perhaps there are lots of beautiful sounds, not just one, and that for Jemmy, Roy’s music is the best of all? This gorgeous debut picture book is a heart-warming tribute to the power of friendship.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I... don't get it. It's almost like this book doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it a story about friendship? Or is it a story about trying to find the most beautiful sound in the world? The two ideas are kind of forced together, and the resulting story is kind of disjointed and chaotic.

The illustrations aren't really my thing, either. Yes, they're rough... but they're also really awkward in places (like when we see Roy in closeup playing his violin; he's holding the neck of it with his hand turned backwards at an angle that would make the instrument impossible to play).

This was a miss for me. Kids might like trying to pick out Jemmy as he follows Roy on his quest for the most beautiful sound, but other than that, the book is trying too hard to be multiple things... and failing to be anything in particular, really.

Thank you to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children's Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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