Simon Howe, Shoosh!, State Library Queensland, December 2020, 32pp., RRP $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9781922467300
With endearing and emotive little characters, Shoosh explores the world of pre-schoolers as they try to keep quiet while the baby sleeps.
Beginning inside a traditional Queenslander a group of young children (from the demographic this book is aimed at) proceed out to the veranda and then the garden as they try to make sure there is enough quiet for the baby to sleep. Along the way, we see plenty of depictions of Australiana: quolls kicking a football, frogs with pool noodles, parrots, a barbeque, and a slip-n-slide.
The text is in rhyming verse with a smattering of onomatopoeia, which is perfect for pre-schoolers. Simon Howe’s illustrations are bright, bold, and colourful, but not at all garish. He has used lots of vibrant greens when the children are out in the garden and a subtle lavender colour for the images of the nursery. There is diversity in the group of children and I also really like that we have a Dad on baby duty in this book.
This would be a great one for children who might soon be gaining a sibling to show that life will still be adventurous and fun when there is a baby in the house. Also, it might encourage kids to get out of the house and experiencing nature.
Reviewed by Cherie Bell