The Island of Shhh

By Catherine Leung. Shortlistee of the Best Children’s Picture Book Text competition 2023

Spread 1 [Dan with his hands over his ears. Very busy/active house with pets−dog, cat, gerbil, budgie, parents, football-playing older twin sisters, toddler/baby brother]

This is Dan.

He likes to be quiet.

But he lives in a very noisy house.

[Words getting larger to suggest more and more noise]

The cat mews, guitars twang, the budgie squawks, balls bounce, gerbils scratch, rattles shake, the dog barks, footsteps thud, the twins laugh, baby cries, doors slam, Daddy sings, and Mummy clangs!!!

Spread 2 [Talking to himself in front of the bathroom mirror. Sitting on front doorstep doing a drawing. Contemplating a spider dangling on its thread]

Sometimes, when his head feels fuzzy,

Dan slips away for a private chat in the bathroom.

Sometimes he sketches out his wildest dreams on the front doorstep.

And sometimes he just hangs out and waits for the noise to stop.

But it never does.