THE LOUDS MOVE IN!

A new family shatters the hushed tranquility on Earmuffle Avenue in this sonic counterpart to Sam Swope’s neglected classic The Araboolies of Liberty Street (1989). Cowering in their homes while the Louds crash about and bellow in CAPITAL LETTERS—“WILL SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER THE PHONE? WHO TOOK THE REMOTE, FOR PETE’S SAKE? THE BABY’S EATING THE CAT’S FOOD. WAAAAH!”—neighbors Miss Shushermush, Mr. Pitterpatter and Miss Meekerton at last nerve themselves to lodge a complaint. But before they can, the Louds’ house goes suddenly silent. Dunnick adds hand-lettered sound effects to crank the volume of his cartoon scenes, all of which feature pop-eyed, open-mouthed figures set in a well-kept suburban cul-de-sac, up even further. The lifestyle conflict ends, as in Arthur Howard’s Hubbub Above (2005) and other takes on the premise, with reconciliation; the neighbors discover that they miss the noise, and so gladly join the returning Louds (who had been on a vacation) in a pizza party and a communal closing belch. A sound effort. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7614-5221-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2006

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ELIZABETI'S DOLL

Charmed by her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides that she wants a baby of her own; she picks up a smooth rock, names it Eva and washes, feeds, and changes her, and carries her about in her cloth kanga. Hale dresses Elizabeti and her family in modern, brightly patterned clothing that practically glows against the earth-toned, sketchily defined Tanzanian village in which this is set. Although Eva appears a bit too large for Elizabeti to handle as easily as she does, the illustrations reflect the story’s simplicity; accompanied by an attentive hen, Elizabeti follows her indulgent mother about, mimicking each nurturing activity. The object of Elizabeti’s affection may be peculiar, but the love itself is real. Later, she rescues Eva from the fire pit, tenderly cleans her, then cradles the stone until she—Elizabeti—falls asleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s debut is quirky but believable, lightly dusted with cultural detail, and features universal emotions in an unusual setting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-880000-70-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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