Using paintings and words, John Himmelman has created a “Sing-Along” book series that engages readers’ eyes and ears. All of his books are a bridge to opening up a child’s awareness to the wonderful concerts and choruses taking place in our yards by Noisy Bugs, Noisy Frogs, and Noisy Birds.
Bold, colorful words (written-out sounds) play a prominent role in John’s illustrations, and what readers hear when they say the words makes as much of an impression as what they see. While many field guides and reference books write out sounds with words, John listened to the sounds for himself and then came up with his own first-hand interpretations.
Listening to the natural world is something that John has always done. He was just eight years old when he started his first “Bug Club” in a friend’s garage, and he’s been playing with insects ever since. John has traveled the world in search of birds, and created “The Big Sit”—an event in which participants all over the planet choose one spot, a 17-foot circle, to count every bird they see and hear in 24 hours. When it comes to frogs, John seeks out local ponds wherever he travels to see who’s hopping.
All the books in the “Sing-Along” series are meant to be read aloud by a parent or teacher. John says, “I’ve enjoyed watching people interpret the sounds I’ve transcribed, and it’s fun for kids to have a crack at making the sounds, too. I think children are amused at their parents’ renditions of the calls, and they can join in making chirps, buzzes, squeaks, and croaks with other students in a classroom.”
John is an author/illustrator for 75 books for children. Artistic pursuits run the family—John’s wife is an art teacher, his son is an artist, and his daughter is an actress. Find out more about John and his work at this website: johnhimmelman.com.