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Hum and Swish



written and illustrated by
Matt Myers

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Holiday House
Imprint
Holiday House
ISBN
9780823442867

Awards and Honors
CPL Best Books - 2019
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$7.20   $6.00
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY

JLG Category

Primary Plus

All Jamie wants is to spend some time alone at the beach and finish her art project in the sand. But everyone around keeps asking her pesky questions she doesn’t know how to answer: what are you making? Aren’t you clever?

Jamie does her best to tune it all out and focus on her creation…until she finds a like-minded friend.

Widely respected artist Matt Myers makes his debut as an author in this story that celebrates creativity, introversion, and the beauty of a little peace and quiet.

Full-color illustrations were created with acrylic and oil paint.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 10"

Dewey

[E]

AR

1.1: points 0.5

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Sep 2019

Book Genres


Topics

Art. Questions and answers. Beaches. Artistic process. Creative process. Artists.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Sporting a blue-and-white bathing suit and wind-tossed hair, a young girl hovers near the ocean’s edge. She collects interesting objects in her pail, constructs with rocks and sand, and fashions fanciful figures out of shells and seaweed. “Jamie hums. The waves swish,” and time seems to stop, as the child immerses herself in her activities and imagination. When passersby repeatedly ask her what she is making, she responds, “I don’t know,” seeming to prefer the company of the sea, which “tells stories” but “doesn’t ask questions.” Finally, a woman arrives, carrying an easel and art supplies. When Jamie asks her what she is making, the newcomer answers, “I don’t know yet.” They work side by side in silent camaraderie until both finish their projects, and the two works of art, each unique and amazing, are finally revealed. Created with acrylic and oil paint, the full- and double-page illustrations depict a rock-strewn beach embraced by stacked cliffs in muted pastel hues and topped with lush evergreens. The sea shimmers with layer upon layer of deep blues, olive greens, and wave-crashing whites. Jamie’s facial expressions convey her total absorption in her activities, and it’s fun to watch the way she inventively incorporates different objects, both natural and found, into her endeavor. This day-at-the-seashore tale also serves as a celebration of creative play and artistic exploration, and a reminder to stop and smell the roses.

Horn Book

Myers’s (Battle Bunny, rev. 11/13) debut picture book as both author and illustra-tor offers readers a portrait of the artist as a young girl at the beach. Jamie just wants to be left alone at the shoreline, building sandcastles and creating fanciful creatures out of shells, stones, seaweed, feathers, and other flotsam. She hums as she works, and the waves crash. Other beachgoers interrupt her with questions and greetings that are friendly enough (“What are you making there?” “Aren’t you clever?” “Isn’t that pretty?”) but that prove annoying to young Jamie. “I don’t know,” she repeatedly and curtly responds. Myers’s full-bleed acrylic and oil paintings take care to depict Jamie not as standoffish or bratty in her rebuffs, striking a balance between images showing her irritation and those showing her in quiet reverie, making art. When a woman approaches with an easel and “a lot of things, but no questions,” it’s Jamie who initiates conversation. The brief exchange between the kindred spirits reads: “‘What are you making?’ Jamie asks. ‘I don’t know yet.’ ‘Me neither,’ Jamie says.” Myers’s thoughtful layout literally gives each artist space, placing girl and woman alone or on facing pages as they work independently, Jamie humming and the woman swishing her paintbrush in a jar of water. A pleasing resolution shows how the child has inspired the adult’s art-making, which is affirming of the child herself.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Sporting a blue-and-white bathing suit and wind-tossed hair, a young girl hovers near the ocean’s edge. She collects interesting objects in her pail, constructs with rocks and sand, and fashions fanciful figures out of shells and seaweed. “Jamie hums. The waves swish,” and time seems to stop, as the child immerses herself in her activities and imagination. When passersby repeatedly ask her what she is making, she responds, “I don’t know,” seeming to prefer the company of the sea, which “tells stories” but “doesn’t ask questions.” Finally, a woman arrives, carrying an easel and art supplies. When Jamie asks her what she is making, the newcomer answers, “I don’t know yet.” They work side by side in silent camaraderie until both finish their projects, and the two works of art, each unique and amazing, are finally revealed. Created with acrylic and oil paint, the full- and double-page illustrations depict a rock-strewn beach embraced by stacked cliffs in muted pastel hues and topped with lush evergreens. The sea shimmers with layer upon layer of deep blues, olive greens, and wave-crashing whites. Jamie’s facial expressions convey her total absorption in her activities, and it’s fun to watch the way she inventively incorporates different objects, both natural and found, into her endeavor. This day-at-the-seashore tale also serves as a celebration of creative play and artistic exploration, and a reminder to stop and smell the roses.

Horn Book

Myers’s (Battle Bunny, rev. 11/13) debut picture book as both author and illustra-tor offers readers a portrait of the artist as a young girl at the beach. Jamie just wants to be left alone at the shoreline, building sandcastles and creating fanciful creatures out of shells, stones, seaweed, feathers, and other flotsam. She hums as she works, and the waves crash. Other beachgoers interrupt her with questions and greetings that are friendly enough (“What are you making there?” “Aren’t you clever?” “Isn’t that pretty?”) but that prove annoying to young Jamie. “I don’t know,” she repeatedly and curtly responds. Myers’s full-bleed acrylic and oil paintings take care to depict Jamie not as standoffish or bratty in her rebuffs, striking a balance between images showing her irritation and those showing her in quiet reverie, making art. When a woman approaches with an easel and “a lot of things, but no questions,” it’s Jamie who initiates conversation. The brief exchange between the kindred spirits reads: “‘What are you making?’ Jamie asks. ‘I don’t know yet.’ ‘Me neither,’ Jamie says.” Myers’s thoughtful layout literally gives each artist space, placing girl and woman alone or on facing pages as they work independently, Jamie humming and the woman swishing her paintbrush in a jar of water. A pleasing resolution shows how the child has inspired the adult’s art-making, which is affirming of the child herself.

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