Listen | Gabi Snyder


Listen written by Gabi Snyder and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

Out Now from Simon & Schuster; 40 pages

About the Author: “Gabi Snyder is a fan of the unexpected. Her love of dogs, counting, and unusual modes of transportation inspired her debut picture book, TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE, illustrated by Robin Rosenthal and published by Abrams Appleseed (May 2020). Her second picture book, LISTEN, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, came out in July 2021 from Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. Gabi studied psychology at the University of Washington and creative writing at The University of Texas. When she’s not writing, she loves taking nature walks, visiting Little Free Libraries, and baking sweet treats. She lives in Oregon with her family.” (Bio taken from author’s website.) 

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About the Illustrator: “Born during a blizzard on Groundhog’s Day in Chicago, Illinois, Stephanie spent her childhood drawing and collecting fauna in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Houston, Texas. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. She later attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Stephanie now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes and illustrates children’s books.” (Bio taken from illustrator’s website.)

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“When all you hear in this big, wild world is NOISE… stop. Close your eyes. And listen to everything waiting to be heard.” 

Listen is a picture book about the power of mindfulness in the increasingly busy lives many of us are living. Following a little girl as she goes about her day in the bustling city she calls home, the book presents readers with the various sounds that are constantly happening all around her. From the beep of a car horn to the woof of a dog to the tapping of raindrops, the world can be a very noisy place. But when the girl takes a moment to pause and focus on each sound individually, the noises become less overwhelming, and she is able to appreciate the unique wonder of them all. The book also discusses the importance of listening to others, whether it be your teacher reading a story or a friend telling you how they feel. 

I found so much comfort in this very special book. Each page is infused with a sense of gentleness and warmth. I appreciate Gabi Snyder’s ability to acknowledge that the world can be an overwhelming place, while also providing tools to cut through the noise and find a sense of calm. As someone who deals with anxiety, Snyder’s story really struck a chord with me. I wish I had the opportunity to read a story like this as a child. I think it would have given me a lot of reassurance, as well as some useful coping skills. Stephanie Graegin’s illustrations only added to the soothing effect this story has. I loved the soft art style and calming color scheme. The plants, rain, and adorable animal companions sprinkled throughout also helped create a peaceful atmosphere. Ending with the main character being tucked into bed in her cozy apartment, this book would make a perfect bedtime story to wind down with after a busy day.

PRR Writer, Emily Pimental