by Hanmin Kim
Holiday House, 2015
Originally published in Korea
Written in a folk tale voice, readers discover a new hero, the quiet Tapir.
A long time ago jungle animals loved to be the loudest. The elephant, with his Boom-Boom!, competed with the rhinoceros’ Bam-Bam!, and the ape’s Hoo-Haa-Hoo-Haa! One animal never tried to complete, the quiet Tapir. The tapir “tiptoed about the jungle ever so softly.” She avoided stepping on flowers, ants and was careful not to disturb the resting crocodiles. One day a leopard attacked the tapir—but because the leopard was so loud, hunters shot their guns at him. Terrified and paralyzed with fear, the leopard couldn’t move. Tapir said she could help and showed him how to tiptoe softly, hush, hush. They escaped! Soon the other animals learned of being quiet and each tried to be the quietest of all. Thinking the animals gone, the hunters left.
Originally published in Korea, the pen and ink drawings with splashes of color have the appearance of Korean landscapes. Both words and illustrations are sparse, gentle and a delight to read.