The Listening Walk

My Princesses came to the 7 Acre Wood this week. They are Woodsy Princesses and love to go walking through the wilderness here. They also are Booksy Princesses and love to read books and tell stories. We found a great little book that tied it all together!

IMG_5038The Listening Walk

by Paul Showers
illustrated by Aliki
Published by Harper Collins, originally in 1961 and again in 1991

Theme – Fathers and daughters, nature, using your senses

Suitable for ages 3 and up

It begins –
“I like to take walks.
I take walks with my father and our dog.
Our dog is called Major.
He is an old dog and he does not walk very fast.”

“We go down the street and we do not talk.
My father puts his hands in his pockets and thinks.
Major walks ahead and sniffs.
I keep still and listen.”

IMG_5026The narrator, a little girl, calls this a Listening Walk. They listen to all the sounds and don’t talk. And she tells us about the sounds that she hears. Major’s toenails scratching on the sidewalk — twick, twick, twick. Her father’s shoes. Noisy lawnmowers.Whispering sprinklers. Cars going by. Bicycles, jets overhead and a baby crying. They go into a quiet park and there are different sounds of birds and bugs and leaves blowing in the trees.

It’s a lovely little book. The Princesses liked it alot. We didn’t hear all of the same sounds on our walk. It was a cold, quiet day in the 7 Acre Wood. The Guineas walked with us and they are real chatterboxes. They do not believe in being quiet and listening. The goats were calling to us – they wanted to come along, but we left them behind in their pen. We heard lots of different birds, and the wind, and the river down the hill. The Princesses shoes crunched on the dry grass. The Guineas scratched in the leaves.

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Listening is a good thing. You can have a listening walk in the country or in the city. It would be fun to compare the sounds from different places. Or the differences between day and night sounds. You don’t even have to go on a walk to have a Listening Adventure! You can just sit and be quiet and notice what sounds you hear. How would you write the sounds that you hear? Could you draw pictures to go with the sounds?

You could also go on walks using your other senses. My favorite walks are Sniffing Walks. Can I find any new smells along a trail? Who’s been through these woods before me? You could do a Seeing Walk and even a Touching Walk.

Before you go out walking, you might want to visit Susanna Hill’s Blog to see the list she has compiled of Perfect Picture Books.

Kermit the Frog likes Listening Walks –

What kind of walks do you like? What will you notice today?
I wish good sounds and smells for you!
Your sniffing, listening friend
Rhythm
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34 thoughts on “The Listening Walk

  1. Oh Rhythm dear you would have enjoyed our walk today – no trees to pee against but salt water spray on our faces from the beach and the noisy wild wind blowing us about. ‘The Listening Walk’ sounds wonderful. I love how it talks about the joy that is walking an older dog, Major, who ‘does not walk very fast’ – the slowness, the noticing, it’s very peaceful. Wishing you good smells and sounds on your next walk too Rhythm.

    • Ahhh! I LOVE the beach. Now there are some fine sounds and smells! But I don’t get to go there very often. Only in my dreams. I liked that they included old Major. Being a senior citizen myself, i can appreciate those slow walks!

  2. Rhythm, we love listening games with our grandblessings! I think living in the city we tend to shut out noise—but when we seriously listen it is amazing all the things you can hear. Going outside right now at minus 11 you can hear the crackling of ice and tree bark splitting. This sounds like an awesome book I will definitely check out for our grands. I love the pictures of you and the princesses…it’s always fun to see them – they are certainly growing.

    • Thanks for noticing my Princesses. I LOVE those girls and don’t get to see them very often. They live far away. It’s always a special treat to have them for a visit. I think your grands would like this book. It’s a good one!

    • You can’t beat a good sniffing walk! We sometimes get some mysterious pee mail in our woods and down by the river. Sometimes I wonder if it might be spam. Ahh! That makes me think of Spam. That makes a pretty good treat!

  3. OK Rhythm … now you’ve done it … picked a book born in the same year as I was! My walks used to be power walks through the neighborhood but lately I prefer strolls through a pretty place, perhaps a nature hike through the forest or by a creek. I’ll bet that’s heaven to you!

  4. What a lovely idea for a busy world. I think so many kids forget how to be observers, since they are surrounded by constant entertainment — TVs and iPods, cell phones and video games. Just watching, listening, and smelling are so important. A person just needs time to think for sure.

    • I guess you could say that. I keep a lookout for Pooh and Piglet and Eeyore, but they have yet to show up here. We do have quite a few Poohs and Piglets that live in the house. And an Eeyore wannabe who lives next door.

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