Synopses & Reviews
When a young boy wakes up in the middle of the night, an unfamiliar sound conjures frightening images in his mind.
Children everywhere can now enjoy John Irving's story about nighttime uncertainties, A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound. Originally found within Irving's ninth novel, A Widow for One Year, this atmospheric tale has been brought to life by Tatjana Hauptmann's beautifully muted illustrations.
Includes an introduction by the author.
"Irving's first book for children, an atmospheric story originally included as part of his adult novel A Widow for One Year, introduces wide-eyed Tom, pictured in adorably rumpled pajamas. The boy wakes up in the night to a mysterious sound. 'It was a sound like, in the closet, if one of Mommy's dresses came alive and it tried to climb off the hanger,' he explains to his unseen father. Tom then pads around the house, solo, in search of the source. Irving credibly captures the imagined fears of a child jolted out of sleep: 'It seemed to Tom that the sound was definitely the sound of an armless, legless monster dragging its thick, wet fur.' Using broad pencil strokes and watercolor wash, Hauptmann (A Day in the Life of Petronella Pig) creates a world of moonlit blue shadows where innocent objects a coat in a closet, a crumpled sweater take on eerie aspects. The book's large format and empty-feeling spreads enhance the creepiness quotient. Yet the artist tempers the mood by picturing the wide-eyed boy always accompanied by his animated teddy bear under the full moon's light. The visuals may cause a few shivers, but the story ends on a reassuring note: 'A mouse crawling in the walls!... That's all it was!' says Tom. In showing young readers that the things that go bump in the night are, in reality, not so scary, Irving succeeds in helping them confront their fears. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Hazy pencil drawings in muted blues, grays, and greens surround pajama-clad Tom in shadows, wordlessly intensifying the mood of nocturnal fear. Perfect for anyone who fears things that go bump in the night." Kirkus Reviews
"[T]he story the artwork tells seems to be a different one from that of the text....The text itself is a bit too complex for the intended audience, and the emphasis on frightening details detracts from the comfort of the father's simple explanation." School Library Journal
The bestselling author of The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules presents this tale that appears in his ninth novel, A Widow for One Year, illustrated with beautifully muted drawings by Hauptmann. Also includes an Introduction by Irving.
About the Author
John Irving is the author of numerous novels for adults, including A Widow for One Year
, The Cider House Rules
, A Prayer for Owen Meany
, and The World According to Garp
. He lives in Vermont and Toronto.
Tatjana Hauptmann has illustrated many children's picture books in Europe. She lives in Zurich, Switzerland.