Seen and Not Heard tells the story of the children of Shiverhawk Hall. They are very good children, staying still for hour after hour. They have to: they are all portraits in heavy old picture frames. Except that when night falls and nobody is looking, they escape from their picture frames and run riot around the Hall until dawn. Then they return to their frames as good as gold, to be seen and not heard for another day.
Inspiration for this, Katie May Green’s debut picture book, came from real portraits in museums and galleries, as the author pored over the characters of children in old portraits, wondering what it would be like to be confined in a painting. Join the children as they are introduced one by one, as they break out of their confinement for a series of anarchic adventures, and as they scramble to get back to their frames in time as dawn breaks.
The evocative images are drawn in pencil and charcoal, then scanned and digitally coloured. The style is often redolent of the work of Maurice Sendak, while the words use subtle internal rhyme to shape the text and drive the narrative. It is a great book to share, particularly at bedtime! It will prompt the imagination of all young readers, putting their feet firmly on the road to their own untrammelled fun.