Jack’s hectic household is very noisy and everyone seems to shout except Jack. No one listens to a word he says: Mum gives him two pancakes for breakfast when he asks for one and Granny knits him a red sweater when he asks for a blue one. So, it’s not surprising that not one of his family hears him when he tells them he’s going to the top of the mountain with just Chester his cuddly toy for company. Even up there in the silence Jack’s loudest sentence is lost and it’s his whispered conversation with Chester that is the key to him finding his voice and the assertiveness to cope with the journey home and his noisy, loving family.
Jessica Meserve has given her longish fable about the importance of listening a North American hillbilly setting with farmyard animals a plenty, and the human characters sporting blue jeans or dungarees and ten gallon hats. Her illustrations capture both the cluttered hectic homestead and the contrasting emptiness of the wilderness beyond.