Title: Hush! A Thai Lullaby

Author: Minfong Ho

Description: A Caldecott Honor winning story of a mother desperately trying to keep the animals of the jungle quiet as her baby is sleeping. However, little does she know that her baby is awake the whole time.


  • Inferencing
  • Reading body language
  • Phonological awareness (rhyming)
  • “Who?” questions
  • Retelling (early narrative)
  • Animal vocabulary
  • Perspective Taking
  • /l/ blends, /l/

Why I like this book: This is one of my favorite stories. The pictures are adorable, and the poetic story keeps kids engaged. Kids also love the animal noises that author provides (i.e. HOOM-pra, HOOM- Pra for the elephant,  Op, Op for the frog, etc.)

Ideas for use:

  • Great book to teach early inferencing and prediction. There are visual clues as to what animal could be making noise next. Have kids collect the “clues” from the mothers words or from the pictures
  • the body language is amazing in this story. Lots of examples for children to interpret, act out, and infer what she is thinking and feeling. Add cut out thinking bubbles above the mother’s head.
  • have kids fill in the blank to generate the rhyming word while reading
  • the story is a good model for “who” questions (a person or animal) as the mother is consistently wondering “who” is making the given noise.
  • a simple sequencing narrative for kids to retell. Use the pictures and have the kids retell the story. Encourage temporal markers
  • would be a good simple narrative to pair with “Braidy” from Mindwingconcepts
  • good story to discuss “setting” as the story takes place in a hut in the jungle of Thailand . Have kids generate and discuss the animals of the jungle, the plants, what they would see and hear (pair with the Visualizing and Verbalizing approach for description)
  • Carry over to pretend play: If a group- Have kids “act” it out! One “mommy” can tell the animals to “hush!” The repetative phrases are easy for kids to remember.
  • If you don’t have a group, use pretend play toys and act out. A simple pretend play house would work- what could be making noise in the house that the mommy would worry about? (i.e. mail man, the dog, cars outside, etc.) Work on sequencing of play schemes.
  • The mother never knows the baby is AWAKE. Perfect to discuss and model perspective taking. Use thinking bubbles and act out for comprehension
  • Lots of /l/ blends and repetitive for kids to practice (sleeping, black, etc.)

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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