WHAT’S THAT NOISE?

Brothers band together at bedtime in this reassuring take on a familiar theme. As soon as the lights go down, a tree limb throws threatening shadows across the floor, a toy dinosaur takes on a menacing aspect, and worst of all, the night is filled with mysterious WHOOSHes and HOOs. Little Ben begs big brother Alex in the other bed to come over and sing him a song. The thought of crossing a cold, dark floor where “something might grab his feet” and “something might bite his toes” has Alex clutching his teddy bear—but when Ben suddenly goes quiet, he has to investigate. Meisel depicts the brothers from high angles, moving in to show anxious faces, then panning back for a view of the shadowy (but not very dark) room. Alex finds Ben hiding under the blanket, crawls in to join him, and sings a made-up song: “WHOOSH goes the wind, AROO goes a dog. . . .” Even the dinosaur’s smiling in the final scene. Unlike William Carman’s What’s That Noise? (p. 802), there are no scary imaginary monsters here to leap out at viewers, nor is a child made to confront night fears alone—and the idea that even older sibs aren’t immune to those fears may make susceptible younger ones feel better. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1350-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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ALL BY MYSELF!

Essentially a follow-up to Robert Kraus’s Leo the Late Bloomer (1971) and like tales of developing competency, this follows an exuberant child from morning wash-up to lights out at night, cataloguing the tasks and skills he has mastered. Activities include dressing himself and joining in school activities, choosing his own books, helping with dinner and other household responsibilities, and taking a bath alone before bedtime. In Aliki’s sunny, simplified pictures, it’s a child’s world, seen from low angles and with adults putting in only occasional appearances. Like the lad, the fitfully rhymed text gallops along, sometimes a little too quickly—many illustrations are matched to just a word or two, so viewers aren’t always given much time to absorb one image before being urged on to the next—but underscoring the story’s bustling energy. Young readers and pre-readers will respond enthusiastically to this child’s proud self-assurance, and be prompted to take stock of their own abilities too. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-028929-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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