Carmen Mok is a studio-art graduate of the University of Waterloo and a craft and design graduate of Sheridan College. She has illustrated Percy’s Museum by Sara O’Leary, Violet Shrink by Christine Baldacchino and Grandmother’s Visit by Betty Quan, an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor title. Carmen’s other noteworthy books include A Stopwatch from Grampa by Loretta Garbutt, Cone Cat by Sarah Howden and Tough Like Mum by Lana Button. She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.
When I Listen to Silence
Written by Jean E. Pendziwol
Illustrated by Carmen Mok
Published by Groundwood Books
When a child is asked to “Please, be quiet!” they sit silent … and their imagination sweeps them away on a breathtaking journey.
Through the window, the child can hear the trees breathe and watches them sway back and forth as they begin to dance. Then bears join in, accompanied by the child on their drum, making so much noise they wake up a dragon! The dragon’s smoky breath fills the sky, and the wind forms a knight on a steed that gallops through the stars. The child’s adventure continues, as one wonderful flight of fancy leads to the next, from pirates to mermaids to whales, until they find themselves sitting silent once again among the trees.
Jean E. Pendziwol has written a charming story-poem that looks at silence and stillness as an opportunity for the imagination and creativity to flourish. Carmen Mok’s magical illustrations flow from one spread to the next like animation, in a palette inspired by vintage printmaking.