Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HOLLER LOUDLY by Cynthia Leitich Smith


by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Barry Gott

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42256-3
Publisher: Dutton

Every few generations a Loudly baby is born loud, and Holler is one of the lucky (?) ones. Though everyone tells him to "Hush!" it's no use. When he hollers, "Yippee Ti Yi Yo! I Love Math!" his teacher Mr. Smarty's chalk "burst[s] into dust." When he goes to hear Gramps in the barbershop quartet, he hollers so loudly the entire town admonishes him to "HUSH!" He finally does hush and the quartet sings on, allowing Holler to understand that he can hear better— "[q]uiet times... could be just fine." When a tornado roars into town, though, Holler does what he does best, blowing it "into a thousand teeny tiny breezy" pieces and saving the town. This original Southwestern tall tale has an easy rhythm, and repeated phrases and playful type make reading aloud a pleasure. The exuberant, smooth-edged illustrations feature exaggerated, open mouths (especially Holler's) and visually emphasize the chaos-inducing effects of his voice; the face-off with the anthropomorphized tornado is especially effective. A rambunctious, can't-lose read-aloud no one will want to hush. (Picture book. 3-6)