The Sound of Silence
by Katrina Goldsaito, illus. by Julia Kuo
"The most beautiful sound," the koto player said, "is the sound of ma, of silence."
There begins Yoshio's search for silence, or ma, in Japanese. It is more difficult to find than he thinks! Julia Kuo's absolutely stunning and poetic illustrations and Katrina Goldsaito’s words are a perfect match. They take little Yoshio through the bamboo grove, where “the bamboo made a takeh-takeh-takeh sound as the wind banged its stalks together. He closed his eyes and heard the swish-swish-swish of the wind making the leaves talk. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t silence.
When Yoshio gets to school, the classroom is empty, so he pulls out his book and begins to read.
“He sat at his desk by the window and pulled out a book. He loved this story, and as he read, he forgot where he was. Suddenly, in the middle of the page, he heard it. No sounds of footsteps, no people chattering, no radios, no bamboo, non kotos being tuned.”
In the middle of a book, Yoshio found silence.