A loud and terrible growl envelops the house—what could it be? What does it want?
As a toddler-age child plays, eats, reads, and gets ready for bed, there is an ever present “GGGGRRRR” in the background. As the text speculates on the source of the growl, delicately lined, crisp illustrations, done in soft colors against white space, depict the possibilities. “Is it a big, hairy bear from the dark woods?” Or maybe “a mean, ugly ogre who lives in a castle of bones?” Or worse yet, “a spiky, green sea monster from the bottom of the ocean?” The recurring text “What’s that terrible GROWL?” and “What does it want?” along with the playful use of typeset and the outlandish speculative possibilities make for a breathless and spirited read-aloud. The first time through, readers might be so caught up they won’t take time to stop and explore the illustrations. That can be done calmly on the inevitable second pass. The source of the growl? The delightful answer is kept a secret until the very end. The young protagonist and his family present white. Unfortunately, the simultaneously publishing Spanish version, ¿Qué es ese ruido?, is marred by a few awkward translations.
Many an older sibling will identify with the story and beg for repeat readings. (Picture book. 2-5)<