Wednesday, June 3, 2009

sound effects

This week I attended a kids' concert by NH musician/storyteller Steve Blunt. Young kids loved repeating sounds in his songs. Whether it was frogs calling "knee-deep, knee-deep," or the golden bird chanting "Na-na-na-na-na-na," or any other nonsense chorus, they chimed in loudly. The sillier the chant, the better.

I thought of picture books that capitalize on kids' love of sound effects,Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Click, Clack, Moo and Rattle Trap Car. Writers know that rhythm and sound are hooks that keep kids interested. The trick is to find the right combination!

In her young chapter book, Ugly, Donna Jo Napoli used sound effects. Ugly peeped his way through many adventures until he discovered he was a black swan. Geese honked, chickens pa-kokked. Ugly was learning life lessons, but the various noises grounded the reader in the animal world.

My next post will be in three weeks. In the meantime, I'll be cruising to whatever sounds riverboats make!

1 comment:

  1. You are so right about sounds. I have written a nonfiction piece that begins with motion sounds that describe a tadpole wriggling from its egg mass. My 8 year old daughter mentioned how she liked this beginning and how the kids in her 2nd grade class love books with sounds. I find adding sounds makes for lively nonfiction. April Pulley Sayre uses this device in many of her books. - Cecilia


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