BIG DREAMS, SMALL FISH Written and illustrated by Paula Cohen (Levine Querido; $17.99, Ages…
It’s a story anyone who has ever had a college roommate or a noisy apartment neighbor can relate to. You are ready for bed after an exhausting day, burrowing under the covers and trying to surrender to sleep when you hear an incessant noise—the pounding of base that throbs along with your mounting headache. The neighbor’s are playing their music too loudly again, and it’s 11:00 p.m. Josh Selig’s new children’s book Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night ($14.95, Sterling Children’s Books, ages 4-7) parallels this experience we have all likely had as adults, but in a way that teaches children to stop and consider those whose actions are irritating them.
Charmingly illustrated by Little Airplane Productions, Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night tells the story of Red and Yellow who live together in an Olive Tree—the symbolism should not go unnoticed. One night, as Yellow is trying to sleep, he hears a very loud noise: Red playing his guitar loudly. Yellow confronts Red, but neither can see the other’s side. However, through compromise Red and Yellow come up with an idea that allows both to get what they want—Red can continue to play his guitar, while Yellow can get his zzz’s.
Based on an animated television series, “The Olive Branch,” which promotes conflict resolution and mutual respect, Selig’s story is an important book for any child to have in his or her collection. In a world of growing division and increasing animosity towards those whose views differ from our own, children need to learn about acceptance and compromise early in life. Using a story such as Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night gives parents a platform for encouraging their children to consider the other side’s perspective and to negotiate a reasonable compromise with which both parties will be contented. It’s message is clear: there is no one right viewpoint, but if we can learn to accept others and be sensitive to their positions, perhaps we too can live happily together like Red and Yellow in their Olive Tree. All parents who want to teach their children to grow into compassionate and thoughtful youngsters should pick up a copy of Josh Selig’s Red and Yellow’s Noisy Night and share it, and its message, with their children.
Today’s review was written by Karen B. Estrada.