A simple, rhythmic text describes accelerating and decelerating noises at different levels of a house.
The house itself is exciting, its pagodalike shape further accentuated by double-page spreads that read vertically instead of horizontally. The first spread introduces “an old lady” on the bottom floor, who looks less old than demented, with her flapping lips, crooked glasses, wild hair and toothy grin. Her “BIG wooden stick” goes “CLOMP! CLOMP! CLOMP!” in the bold text at the page’s bottom and in large lettering over her story’s rooftop. On the floors above hers, sets of eyes peer out of dark windows. With each successive page turn, the next floor up features another grotesquely drawn occupant who reacts to the noise underneath with a new noise: A dog woofs, a cat meows, a baby wails, birds squawk. Each page also reveals a different, cluttered room in the old lady’s house and, inexplicably, a large line of spiders roaming about the lawn. The climax is appropriately noisy, and readers who make it to the end will enjoy the sly twist that arrives after all the noises have gradually died down.
Four children created the lively, magical artwork used for the endpapers; this book would charm if their art had been used throughout. (Picture book. 2-4)