A young boy is repeatedly told to be quiet in Moore’s rhyming debut picture book.
As the book opens, narrator Michael tells readers that he’s about to tell them a story about a name that people call him and hopes “you can help me figure out what this nickname is all about.” He then describes situations in which he was very loud and disruptive. His parents, principal, and teachers all tell him, “Shhh...Quiet, Michael!” He assumes, however, that it’s just an unusual moniker. Then he realizes that “Although the sounds that I made are sometimes fine, I did not make them at the right time.” He goes over moments when he acted inappropriately and explains how he could have been more considerate. The overarching lesson, which highlights respectful behavior, is notable. However, the book is a bit lengthy and could have been pared down without losing its effectiveness. It’s also repetitive, as when Michael unnecessarily reviews events that readers have already witnessed. Debut illustrator Berry’s simple, full-color images are bold and bright, mirroring the tone of the text. They also feature helpful thought bubbles and representations of sounds (such as “Rap! Tap! Tap!”). Michael and his family are shown as dark-skinned, and other characters have a range of skin tones.
A relevant but sometimes awkwardly executed etiquette reminder.