After having read Munari's l'uomo del camion, I was really tempted to try the format of this book. I knew I would meet up a pretty little girl on the weekend, so I decided to have a takeout art class.
Meanwhile I'd love to make an experiment. If a child is interested in picture books and drawing, then can we try to modify his or her behavior through picture books? I thus made a personalized picture book for Nio.
I got so carried away that I made a book bag for the book.
The Listening Princess
story and illustration by Weichuen You
Nio is different from other princesses in that she doesn't chatter on and on.
Nio knows that she has to be quiet and listen really hard to hear many things.
For example. She can hear Dad's lack of self-confidence, much as he wants to take good care of everyone.
She can hear Mom's fatigue from work. Sometimes she just wants a hug, but she doesn't say it.
She can hear her little brother's love for her, despite the fact that he can only grin at her because he hasn't learned to talk yet.
Having heard these secrets that are not revealed to any other person, Nio decides to give everyone a gift.
When Dad picks her up from school, Nio holds his hand saying, "Daddy, I worked hard at school today. You have to do your best too ok?"
Nio waits with the moon for Mom. She wants to welcome her home with a BIG hug!
Before going to bed, Nio kisses her little brother, whispering in his ear: I love you too. Let's play together in our dreams as well!"
Dear Nio, now be quiet for ten minutes. What do you hear from your mom, dad and brother? Draw it in the blank space on the right-side page.
My friends were almost moved to tears, but upon reading the exercise on the last page, they couldn't help bursting into crazy laughter. They asked, "Why can't you stop being a teacher?"
Finally I feel free in drawing again. After a night's sleep, a new idea occurred to me, and I couldn't help further developing it.
I prepared extra paper for Nio so that she could do collage with shapes that stand for things/objects that don't make any sound. A lot of beautiful things, such as the sun, the moon, stars, mountains, flowers, are silent. I hope Nio gets the point of this exercise.
This was the first time that Nio remained so engaged and quiet when we ate. So nice. I told Mom that the price for this picture book, translated into monetary value, is 1.2 million NTD, the amount of money I spent during the past year. But I have not been so happy because of drawing for a while, not even in London.
Time for next lesson!