So Many Sounds

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
So Many Sounds Book Poster Image
Fun exploration of everyday noises all around us.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows kids how many sounds there are all around them at home, outside, at school, everywhere. Even silence at night when we go to bed gets a mention. 

Positive Messages

"So many sounds to hear!" wherever you are. "Noises come from all around." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The little boy is attuned to the sounds around him. He has a loving family. His mom is brown-skinned like he is; his dad is white. His classmates are diverse.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tim McCanna's So Many Sounds is a simple, colorful exploration of all kinds of sounds -- from the ones kids hear at home ("Toaster pops. Bacon sizzles.") to things they hear in the classroom ("Pencils scratch, and papers rustle.") to sounds on the street ("Taxis honk, and sirens blast.") and in nature ("Chipmunks chitter. Sparrows tweet."). And there's also music ("Plucking! Trilling! Ringing! Drumming!"). It's a wonderful read-aloud that helps kids be more attuned to all the sounds in their world. It's also a good bedtime book, as it ends when the house is quiet and everyone's asleep after their busy day.

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What's the story?

SO MANY SOUNDS begins with a little boy in bed and an invitation: "Listen! Do you hear a sound? / Noises come from all around. / Soft and gentle, / Loud and clear, oh / So many sounds / To hear!" It then follows the boy through his day, from breakfast ("Pancake flops. / Bacon sizzles.") to his walk to school, to his noisy classroom, and on his field trip via school bus through the noisy streets ("Fire engine roaring past!") to a pier where a band gives a concert. After "Thunder rumbles," it starts to rain and the kids return on the bus. The boy rejoins his family and goes to bed ("Click! The switch turns off the light."). And finally: "No more noises. / Not a peep. / Everyone is / Sound asleep."

Is it any good?

This lively catalog of common sounds at home, school, on the street, and in nature offers a fun way for kids to think about the familiar sounds all around them. So Many Sounds is great for preschoolers who love trucks, planes, firetrucks, and police cars -- and who get excited when they hear them coming. It also helps them be aware of sounds in nature, like birds chirping and thunder rumbling. It's a great read-aloud that will keep kids engaged, and Andy J. Miller's colorful, stylized cartoon art makes it easy for kids to understand what's going on. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the sounds in So Many Sounds. Which ones do you tend to forget about because they're always there?

  • What are your favorite sounds? How does it make you feel when you hear a favorite sound? 

  • Why is it time to leave when "thunder rumbles, breezes blow"? What do those sounds tell you about what's going to happen?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and bedtime stories

Themes & Topics

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