The Quiet Way Home is one of the harder books to find in the Before Five in a Row book list. I am resigned to the possibility that we won’t find a copy at all. After all, Five in a Row as a whole has already blessed our family with the beginnings of a love affair with learning.
I’m such a die-hard fan, though, that when my friend Sanne told me about an app version of the book, I immediately had my husband download it on his iPad. Never mind that I’m generally averse to tablets and such. (To read about what I think about tablets and kids, read my article over at Mom Center Philippines.)
The app contains the original work by author Bonny Becker and illustrator Benrei Huang. While an older child can read the simple text himself, there is also an option to hear the author read the book while being guided by highlighted words. There is also a jigsaw puzzle version of each page that children can do.
Do We Like It?
Not really. The text and illustrations are just wonderful, but reading it from a cold device isn’t really for us. The connection that we usually feel with a good book just isn’t there. Swiping instead of carefully turning the page makes it a cold exercise. Some may not mind not smelling the pages and feeling the paper with their fingers, but I do.
The Quiet Way Home is about a grandfather and his granddaughter who listen to the quiet sounds around them as they walk home from school. It’s a quiet story that’s perfect for introducing onomatopoeia to young children.
The good thing that came out of my willingness to read an app version is that I remembered a similar book that we’ve had for quite some time and have never really appreciated before – The Listening Walk by Paul Showers, illustrated by award-winner Aliki.
Much like The Quiet Way Home, The Listening Walk is about a father and his child walking and listening together to the sounds around them. Both books are great jumping points for your own listening walks.
The activities recommended for The Quiet Way Home in Before Five in a Row are highly applicable to The Listening Walk too and can definitely be followed. Here are some of the things that we did:
- Sound activities – We did some super simple sound experiments.
- Action game – We played an action game based on the actions in both The Quiet Way Home and The Listening Walk
- Relationships – We talked about our the different relationships in our family, and played our “Extended Family Fun Game.”
We, including Little T, enjoyed The Listening Walk more, perhaps because we read from a real book, and turned real pages of a book, and smelled the unique smell of a real book. Just seeing how beautiful The Quiet Way Home is, though, I think I’m ready to get back in the game of looking for a precious copy!