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QUIET DOWN, LOUD TOWN! by Alastair Heim


by Alastair Heim ; illustrated by Matt Hunt

Pub Date: Dec. 8th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-328-95782-5
Publisher: Clarion Books

A disgruntled elephant goes on an onomatopoeic walk through the city.

“HONK, HONK, HONK! / BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! / ‘Quiet down, I’m trying to sleep!’ ” Traffic sounds shatter the morning’s silence. Then, birds won’t stop chirping during breakfast. The protagonist, a big, blue elephant, walks through town, with loud noises causing irritation and even problems at every turn. In the park: “RUFF, RUFF, RUFF! / YIP, YIP, YIP! / ‘Quiet down, you made me trip!’ ” At the cafe: “CLANK, CLANK, CLANK! / CLINK, CLINK, CLINK! / ‘Quiet down, I spilled my drink!’ ” The peeved pachyderm can’t take it anymore and shouts from the sidewalk: “QUIET DOWN LOUD TOWN!” These words splay out over a double-page spread, just like the elephant’s arms and legs as anger erupts. The following spread is entirely wordless; the elephant’s got its desired silence, but several passersby aim stink-eyes its way. And, when the elephant gets ready for bed, silence is suddenly not as appealing. After dragging in multiple appliances: “All this noise should do the trick… / SNORE! / SNORE! / SNOOOOORE….” But how will the neighbors feel? Hunt’s frenetic angular illustrations match the raucous city and rising frustration all around. The residents are all anthropomorphized animals, walking upright, working community jobs; it makes for a fun hunt to spot them all.

This rhythmic romp slyly shows the value of looking through a different perspective.

(Picture book. 3-6)