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STORY TIME: The book of wonderful noises

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 4:23 pm

By Lorry Myers

It was Dr. Seuss week and our elementary school invited volunteer readers into the classrooms to read their favorite Dr. Seuss books. I took the invitation seriously and wanted to practice before the day so the kids would be entertained and know that I love to read. The other volunteers would be bringing their own Dr. Seuss book choices, so I looked for one that isn’t well read, finally settling on Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

This little rhyming book is about a top-hatted man named Mr. Brown, who could produce all manner of wonderful noises. Not just mooing and cockle doodle dooing, but everyday sounds like knocks and clocks, slurps and burps. The book is full of noises that Mr. Brown can make and now, I had to make them, too.

Moo and cockle doo.

I came in with high energy that morning, well-rehearsed but still nervous. With a list of classes and times, Mr. Brown and I went from kindergarten to the second grade. In each classroom, the students were seated in a common area on the floor, surrounding me with sweet innocence and expectation.

The pressure was on.

There is a place in Mr. Brown Can Moo where Dr. Seuss gives the reader a chance to participate. The students enthusiastically followed along, mimicking the noises I made, even down to the tone of voice. Grum, grum from chewing gum, the choo of a train, the dibble dop of rain; the kids were all up in it.

Until we got to this sound.

It is a noise I grew up with, one used in many nursery rhymes and even rock songs. It is a sound you hear in a silent house, a sound that marks the passage of time.

Mr. Brown can “go like a clock, he can tick, he can tock”.

When I got to the tick tock part of the book and made the sound of a ticking clock, confusion crossed the faces of the little people in front of me. The looks I got gave me cause for a pause.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard