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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Ellie's Voice or TRooommmpffff
by Piret Raud
Age Range: Under_5
Ellie is a bird who has no voice. She lives on the sandy shore of a big sea. “Everything else has a voice,” Ellie thinks sadly. “The trees rustle. The waves crash. Even the rain sings when it falls.” Ellie’s eyes fill with tears as she realises she is the only one who can’t make a sound. Then one day Ellie finds a strange object washed up on the beach. It’s a horn and when she blows into it a strange sound emerges – “Trooommmpffff”. Now Ellie is happy because at last she can make a noise and it attracts the attention of all the other animals from far and wide. But their cheers are short-lived when Albert the fish tells Ellie that the horn belongs to Duke Junior who has not been himself since he lost it. Ellie is mortified and determined to give the horn back to its rightful owner.
Ellie's Voice is a powerful story by renowned Estonian author and illustrator Piret Raud, translated by Adam Cullen, which has a fable-like quality that is both profound and moving. Its central themes are about learning to accept being different, the importance of friendship and the magic of music. Ellie’s discovery of music through listening to Duke Junior play his horn helps her to be comfortable in her own skin. Ellie selflessly gives up the one thing that has allowed her to have a voice but “she wasn’t the least bit sad that she couldn’t make sounds on her own” because Duke Junior’s music "contained all the things Ellie thought and felt."
Raud’s black and white illustrations made up of lots of intricate lines, dots and shapes are full of expression and capture the raw emotion of both Ellie and Duke Junior. There’s also some lovely humour within the artwork and a surprise at the end as we discover what Duke Junior is and why he wasn’t himself without his horn!
A stunning and emotive picture book with text and images that truly sing.