Review Kirkus gave us a star review!An inviting tale that will stretch inquisitive and observant young minds.
The Sound of Silence cover


The Sound of Silence just popped up on People Magazine's 12 Best Books of 2016! as well as the wonderful NPR's Books of the Year List!
And The Boston Globe's Best Books of 2016! and Huffington Post's Best Picture Books of the Year list!

We're thrilled by the beautiful reviews, like this one in Maria Popova's Brain Pickings,

As well as in the The Wall Street Journal, this stunning one in The Boston Globe plus the four starred reviews from School Library Journal, School Library Connection, a starred review and cover of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and Kirkus calling it

"An inviting tale that will stretch inquisitive and observant young minds."

The book is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was named by Minh Le at The Huffington Post for best picture books in the first half of 2016.

"One of my absolute favorite books of the year, I'll tell anyone who will listen that The Sound of Silence is like a dharma talk led by Christopher Robin. Which is about as high a compliment as I can give."

You can find out more about me and the book in this interview by Roger Sutton at The Horn Book and in the Lowell Sun.

School Visits

I love sharing this book with classrooms, museums, and festivals! It's a wonderful introduction to mindfulness, finding the silence within, Japan, and even contemporary composition!

I offer writing workshops, interactive readings, and author talks for grades K-6, and for older students: a career workshop and a workshop called Excavating Family Mythologies. I’ve taught at the Kingsley Montessori School, the Kikokushijo Academy, the Writing Faculty, and at 826 Boston where I was the storyteller and ran workshops like this one on Empathy and Mindfulness for MIT's Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values and WGBH.

Here are the workshops I offer for different ages. In designing them, I've been mindful of Common Core Standards.

Finding Silence

Ages: Toddlers - 3rd Grade

We’ll start with a deep-listening exercise to explore and describe the sounds of the classroom (along with some surprise sounds!) After an introduction to the idea of Japanese onomatopoetry, we’ll read the book, projected on screen, together. After the reading we’ll listen again, this time identifying the silence that exists between sounds.

The Making of the Sound of Silence

Ages: 3rd Grade and Up

Using in-process drafts, Katrina will share the secrets to making a picture book, and will talk about the importance of rewriting. She'll also share Julia's special in process illustrations.

Writing Silence

Ages: 4th-6th Grade

Using the book as a springboard, we’ll discuss story structure and sensory details, pausing in the storytelling so students can write their own detailed endings. Where do they find silence? Why is silence important? We’ll talk about techniques to describe the indescribable. This presentation has a strong writing component that fits with Common Core Standards.

Meet The Author + Career Talk

Ages: Can be tailored for any age

Find out all the secrets behind THE SOUND OF SILENCE. Follow Yoshio’s journey through Tokyo in on-screen projections of the book as Katrina Goldsaito reads and talks about her journey to becoming an author, the process of making the book, growing up multiracial and Japanese, her father’s stories, her experiences in Japan and the famous contemporary composer Toru Takemitsu. She inspires creativity in young aspiring authors, encouraging them to listen to the silence within them, and leaving them with advice on the importance of hard work, imagination and the Japanese idea of ganbatte. Ends with a Q&A.

Excavating Family Mythologies

Ages: High-School, College, Adult

Stories that sprout from family mythologies and tradition are rich ground to begin work in fiction and non-fiction. In her work for children, teens, and adults, Katrina Goldsaito begins with family stories. Through creative sprints, we'll uncover family stories and work together to simplify and crystallize these stories into rich possibilities for books for readers of all ages. We'll figure out what questions we need to answer to deepen these stories, and we’ll talk about why these stories, the family stories that we return to again and again, are perfect touchstones to create work in fiction and nonfiction.

Unexpected Mourning

Ages: High-School, College, Adult



Within the Bay Area, SF

$750 for three 45 minute sessions in one location

$950 for four 45 minute sessions in one location


1 to 2 hours drive from Haight+Ashbury, SF.

$950 for three

$1200 for four

Add travel expenses (rental car + gas) and $35/driving hour

Far Away

Full day with overnight stay, > 2 hours from San Francisco

$1425 for three or four presentations

Plus transportation, lodging and meal expenses. (These can often be shared between schools.)

$150 for Skype visits, 45 minutes

Katrina loves signing books for students (with her special red "hanko" stamp) and encourages booksales at all of her events. It connects kids directly with the author and makes the visit even more special. Plus, or course, it supports the author and the whole economy of book buying.

I'm committed to working with underserved schools. Let's chat to see what would work best for your school.

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Upcoming Events!

May 6th, 2017 11:30 am

Page Turn Festival

Oakland Children's Fairyland

July 9th, 2017 1:00 pm


Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens

October 21st, 2017

Publishing Journey with Alvina Ling

SCBWI Oakland

Past Events

March 17, 2017 5:00 pm


Charlie's Corner

March 7, 2017 7:00 pm

Publishing Journey

Charlie's Corner

November 22nd, 2016 7:00 pm

Picture Book Surgery

Haight Street Booksmith

November 26th, 2016

The Book Passage, Ferry Building

I've shared the book with folks at:

The Boston Book Festival

The Boston Children's Museum

Kid Quake, San Francisco

The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles

The Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park

The Boston Public Library

The Mixed Remixed Festival

Bank Street Books

Book Passage

Cambridge Book Bike

The Learning Project Elementary School

Kingsley Elementary School

King Open School

Hillside Elementary School

Girls' Inc., Lowell

The Lowell Community Health Center

Cambridgeport Elementary

The Lawrence School

LePort Montessori School

Buy it

Support your local bookstore!

  • photo of Katrina Goldsaito

    Written by

    Katrina Goldsaito

    Katrina’s favorite sound is the sound of bare feet on tatami mats. In Tokyo, she worked as an on-camera TV journalist and producer for NHK-World, and has written for National Geographic, The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, and The Japan Times. She lives near Golden Gate Park with her husband and son, and spends her days eating avocados and working on her first YA novel.

  • photo of Julia Kuo

    Illustrated by

    Julia Kuo

    Julia’s favorite sound is kuk-kuk-kuk (the sound an angry squirrel makes). She is the illustrator of Go, Little Green Truck and has created illustrations for American Greetings, the Cleveland Public Library, The New York Times, and Capitol Records, among many others. She works from Chicago for most of the year, and from Taipei over the winter.

Related Projects

We've been working on some fun digital projects related to The Sound of Silence.

  • We Doki Doki

    Doki doki is the sound your heart makes when you find something you love. Every month, Katrina and Julia along with collaborators Beau Kenyon and Jonah Goldsaito explore a new onamatapoeic sound. Come, listen, and watch!

  • The Sound of Librarians

    When Katrina visited the 2016 ALA conference in Boston MA, she asked librarians what their favorite sounds were and recorded their responses. Here are a few with a bit of illustration sprinkled on top :)