Oscar is, of course, scared of the vacuum, as are many youngsters, so in response Linda Bryan Sabin has written a charming rhymer call The Sound Snatcher. The title character (a vacuum) sucks up all the sounds around him:
"He was made to eat dirt but some sound bites can't hurt so along with the dust and the fluffle he sucks in the sound he finds lying around. Each sweet taste for him like a truffle."
On each page he goes through the rooms, sucking in more noises:
"Is the telephone ringing? The parakeet singing? Has he swallowed the door buzzer's buzz? He ate without caring the radio's blaring and the only sound left is what was."
I love that last line - the only sound left is what was.
The book is published by peeking kitty press, and on every page there is a... well I'll let you guess. It is pretty cute. One of my favorite pages has few words, at the top is written,
"No sounds can out loud him..."There are pictures of the kitty driving a fire engine with the sirens blaring, a lawn mower, an airplane, an ice cream truck, and a little boy in ear muffs. At the bottom of the page it reads,
"no ear muff can shroud him, as The Snatcher continues his prowling..."I can see Oscar, learning his sounds and words pointing to fire engine and making the siren, and trying to make the sound of an airplane. We're not there yet, at 11 months all I get is a smile when I make the siren sound as he picks up his toy police car. But in the future this book holds great possibility for us. There is even a "LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BOOK" section in the back, with questions for readers to pepper the listeners with, such as remembering the sounds eaten in the book. There is also a "The Words I Heard" vocabulary section. I like the vocabulary section:
devour - verb (dEh-vaur) to eat or swallow, to eat greedily (as if you won't get anymore and you want all the food for yourself).
They are pretty cool definitions.
The book retails for $14.95, has library quality binding (meaning it will take a beating), and is printed in the U.S.A. This is nice. Two months ago I made myself a deal where I wouldn't buy anything new if it came from China, but when it comes to books this deal is impossible to keep. So being printed in the U.S.A. is pretty nifty. The Sound Snatcher is also printed on recycled paper with soy ink - very green; actually the cover is green (a yellowy green), it works.