What’s your favourite sound? Could it be birdsong, a gentle waterfall, some soft sibilance in a poem, or waves gently breaking on the shore? Perhaps like Roy, the little lion in this lovely debut picture book, music would get your vote.
Roy lives in the big city and is surrounded by constant sound: his neighbour Jemmy lemur is also a music lover but his accompanying ‘noise’ dancing, clapping and vocals are a terrible distraction for a great musician in the making. To that end Roy decides to collect beautiful sounds; those that take his fancy, he puts into small bottles and takes home. The problem comes when he tries to copy them with his violin. Like his neighbour, Jemmy starts collecting sounds to help Roy but this only serves to annoy him.
The lion sets off next day to look farther afield for the most beautiful sound in the entire world. His search takes him deep into the forest where he collects the rain’s plip-plops and high into mountains where he bottles the twitter-tweets of birds. On he goes adding to his collection, sounds from the desert, by the sea and in the market. All this only serves to confuse him: which one is THE most beautiful of all?
Starting to feel lonely, Roy decides to head home, sad and without that which he sought. Could it be that what he’s been looking for so far afield is, after all, to be found rather closer to home?
That’s not quite the end of this heart-warming saga but suffice it to say that friendship is the key. The superbly spirited scenes, both urban and further off in wild parts, are an absolute delight, littered as they often are with musical notes emanating from Roy’s violin, his friend’s accompaniments and those distant places, not to mention all those enchanting bit-part players.