Book Trailer Premiere: Listen by Holly M. McGhee and Pascal Lemaître

I am always grateful when picture book creators drop by to celebrate books with me. Today's special guests are Holly M. McGhee and Pascal Lemaître. We chatted about Listen's book trailer, Pascal's illustrations, hearts, ears, and picture books. I wrote the words in purple, Holly wrote the words in black, and Pascal wrote the words in green. Thank you, Holly and Pascal!

Listen’s book trailer showcases the beauty of Pascal's illustrations. I am so moved that my words inspired beautiful pictures like this. I believe that art can change the world. As William Steig said in his Caldecott Speech for SYLVESTER & THE MAGIC PEBBLE: "Art has the power to make any spot on earth the living center of the universe; and unlike science, which often gives us the illusion of understanding things we really do not understand, it helps us to know life in a way that still keeps before us the mystery of things. It enhances the sense of wonder. And wonder is respect for life."

Pascal Lemaître’s illustrations are full of freedom, of the mind, the spirit, and the pen. Every artist I know aspires to this freedom. I love these pictures.

Listen with your heart. It sounds simple, but in order to do so, one must be quiet and block the interference. This is my wish for the world, that we can all stop moving for a moment and listen to our hearts. Our hearts always lead us in the right direction . . . if we can listen.

I hope Listen helps its readers take a moment to hear their own stories, and to understand themselves, for if we can hear our own story, we can hear the stories of others, which enables us to create a pact of understanding and respect and empathy. If we can do this at the youngest level, we can change the world.

Illustration Credit: Pascal Lemaître

Holly McGhee’s manuscript for Listen is a whispered cry.

Your ears are eyes with tears of joy or sadness.

Picture books are sounds on the skin of trees.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me… How does Azure Blue taste?

Borrow Listen from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Photo Credit:Mark Clennon

Holly M. McGhee is the author of the middle-grade novel Matylda, Bright & Tender, an Amazon, Bank Street, and ABC Best Book of the Year. She divides her time between New York City, where she helps bring books she loves into the world as a literary agent, and Maplewood, New Jersey. You can visit her at

Pascal Lemaître is the illustrator of several books for children, including Do Not Open This Book! and New York Times bestseller Who's Got Game? His wife is the dancer-choreographer Emmanuele Phuon. They live with their daughter, Maelle, in Brussels, Belgium where Pascal is a professor at the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre. You can visit him at


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