Dec 12, 2011


Shhh! by Valeri Gorbachev
Illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
Published by Philomel Books

     His baby brother is sleeping so he knows he needs to be really quiet.  He makes sure he doesn't jump around or sing. "I walk on my tippy-toes." He goes around telling everyone to shhh! He tells the clown to stop laughing, the knights to stop fighting, the tiger to quiet down his roars, the pilot to ground his buzzing plane, the train conductor to stop the train, and the pirates to stop firing their cannons. "When my baby brother sleeps, it is so quiet in my house. I can even hear a fly!" He makes sure nothing wakes him up, because "I love my baby brother so."
     Shhh! is a tender book about the love of a big brother for his baby brother.  I really like the way the story is set up. At first, when the boy is telling us all the things he makes sure are quiet so as not to wake his baby brother up, we see him -in Gorbachev's beautiful illustrations- facing the pirates, knights, if they were real.  And then we see him sitting on a loveseat and next to him there is a toy clown like the one he had just told to be quiet before.  As his baby brother wakes up, he see the boy interacting with all those characters who are now his toys, entertaining the baby.  Gorbachev complements his story with his illustrations.  It's a delightful book to share with all those big brothers out there. 

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