This is a book I bring up endlessly when fretting about voting patterns and bystander effect. I no longer can believe whether I really read this book as a small child or not! I recall that it took place in an Asian nation, illustrations were styled after Chinese landscape painting, I recall lots of red color. The emperor's son wants for his birthday to hear what it sounds like when everyone in the nation shouts out at the same time. Horse-riding messengers are sent all over the land to inform the populace to comply, but when the time comes to shout as one, everyone assumes that someone else will do it, so the end result is no one shouts and there is silence over the land.