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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Silence is an interesting concept. Does it really exist? Mihkel certainly hasn't given it much consideration. Perhaps he's never experienced real silence. Mihkel lives in the city where there is constant noise all around him. He listens to the radio, the TV, and plays computer games, all with the volume turned up to maximum. His parents are forever telling him to turn down the volume. Perhaps Mihkel is just arguing with the world he knows, by trying to make more noise than the city around him. A visit to his grandparents in the country changes things when the farmhouse loses power for several days. Mihkel learns to listen to the silence, to listen to the sounds of life around him, the not-so-noisy sounds of life. Even the grains of sand under his feet, the fog in the evening and the gently blowing curtains have a sound of their own. Has Mihkel learned that silence really doesn't exist? Has he learned that the sounds in the silence can be very entertaining and certainly not boring?
In The Sounds of Silence, Heiki Vilep has written a story about silence, or the lack thereof. He presents a lively young boy who loves to keep busy and to be surrounded by noises all of the time. It is a story about respecting the world around us, to listen to the silences and to learn from the silences. It is a story about the sounds that are ever-present, even in a world too noisy to really listen. With colorful illustrations, this is a valuable story to teach young people to listen, to really listen.