Casterman Publishers originally published Prince Silencio by Anne Herbauts in French as “Silencio” in 2005. The book was recently translated into English and released
by Enchanted Lion Books. Check out this publisher’s logo design - a very cool artistic rendition of a male lion.
Many adults can probably relate to this story; most of us have memories of our parents' frustration at the level of noise we created. “Turn that music down!” they’d holler down the hall. Or “Keep the noise down!”
The King in this story has a heightened sensitivity to noise, so much so that he declares a noise bylaw. Unfortunately his son, Prince Silencio, does not share his father’s displeasure at noise. In fact, the Prince loves the clatter of crowds and parties. Oblivious to his son’s feelings, the King makes his son the Minister of Silence.
As such, it is the Prince’s duty to keep the noise levels down within the kingdom.
When the old king dies, the prince hopes he can join in the revelry and parties.
Instead, he is shunned by the townspeople - until they realize
that his contribution to their society was necessary. Prince Silencio is welcomed back to the hearts of his people, and a balance is found.
Prince Silencio has large pages
featuring block-style art that appears to have been drawn by a young person. At roughly 9-3/4 inches wide and 12-1/2 inches wide, the images are like large posters when the book is opened for a group to see.
Faces and expressions are large enough to be seen several feet away, making this book ideal for group reading situations. Fish, dogs, crows, cows, ducks, geese and more mingle in the crowds of people on the pages. The pages appear to have a slight glimmer, to them giving the book a mystical, magical touch.
Author Anne Herbauts is an accomplished artist and
divides her time between Belgium and France. Only in her early thirties,
Herbauts has written and illustrated 17 other books, some of which have been translated into several languages. Schooled in
fine arts, Anne has also created illustrations for five books by other authors.
At $14.95 (US) retail, this 28-page hardcover children’s book
will appeal to frugal minded caregivers. A durable jacket protects the book and shares the same art as the cover. The book closes with an activity page that will have children scouring the illustrations for answers.