What A Lovely Sound by Starr Meneely follows a young girl, Melody Jane, as she leaves a busy, bustling city with all its noises and sounds, and goes to spend a night in the country. When she arrives there, she is surprised by how quiet it is, and at first she worries that she can’t hear anything. As she closes her eyes and opens her ears, however, she begins to hear the sounds of nature – a babbling brook, a warbling bird, the wind swishing through the grass.
Soon Melody Jane is swept up in the sounds and song of the outdoors, and she spends a beautiful summers day in wholesome surroundings, find a lovely sound in nature.
The book is perfectly written for young children as there are enough words to make it engaging without taking too long, so it’s also an ideal bed time story.
The illustrations – by Susan Merick – are engaging, enchanting, and just lovely. Melody Jane strikes you as a real little girl, rather than a stick figure. She has chubby little thighs and rosy cheeks. I love it. She’s so cute.
We normally do a craft, or some kind of learning with our books, even if tenuous, but because of the things that have happened in our lives this last month, all our home education or play learning activities have been on hold. We are also on holiday as I’m writing this, so we haven’t had the routines and rhythms we normally have.
Instead, we’ve been staring at mountain and walking along streams, reviving our souls and restoring our hearts.
Today we were walking along the river, when Ameli closed her eyes to listen – it filled me with excitement that she was able to be present in the moment, and hear a river flowing, birds chirping, wind blowing, a dog barking, occasionally a car passing (and rather more obscurely, the ice in the puddles! We did hear some of them crack though, which was so unusual!)
So what did my four year old take from What A Lovely Sound? A reminder to close your eyes, to feel what’s around you, the hear it, to listen to it, with your heart. It’s very cold at the moment, here in Wales, but I do look forward to reading the story again, in the summer, and lie in a field, listening, breathing, and becoming part of the beautiful story of nature, with Ameli and Melody Jane.