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What This Story Needs Is a Hush and a Shush by Emma J. Virján is an easy reader book that is perfect for emerging readers. The story follows a pig in a wig getting ready for bed but she is constantly interrupted by different animals. The text is very simple for young readers, with very few sentences on each page. The story is told through rhyme containing different animal sounds and illustrations, allowing young readers to connect the two together. More books like these can be found in the “A Pig in a Wig Book” series.
We selected this book because the text, while short and sweet, flows excellently with the illustrations. As Horning (2010) states, “Lengthy and sophisticated abstractions are unnecessary and pointless” (p. 88). Virján’s text follows this rule. Her pictures also assist the story. “The artistic elements and principles of design work together to express meaning in picture-book illustrations” (Horning, year, p. 100). Most of the pictures show an open window with a nighttime sky. When the window isn’t seen, the deep blue walls of Pig’s bedroom give the reader a sense that it’s late and quiet is needed. The animals’ small eyes and big expressions give a comical feel, which complements their role in the story as they continue to interrupt Pig’s bedtime routine.
Horning, K. T. (2010). From cover to cover: evaluating and reviewing children’s books. New York: HarperCollins.
Virjan, E. (2016). What This Story Needs Is a Hush and a Shush. Harper Collins Books.