Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHEN LIONS ROAR by Robie H. Harris


by Robie H. Harris ; illustrated by Chris Raschka

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-11283-3
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

What to do when sudden or loud noises bring “the scary.”

Here, Harris works the same theme as Ed Emberley’s classic Go Away Big Green Monster (1993) but in a less abstract way. She catalogs upsetting sounds—from “When thunder booms! / When sirens blare!” to “When daddies yell! / When mommies holler!”—then suggests a remedy: shutting one’s eyes and ordering “Scary! Go away” until “the quiet is back” and the world again becomes a sunny, peaceful place. The big, short lines of text are printed in various colors; Raschka uses the same palette to depict, with his typically free-looking brushwork, an anxious child of indeterminate sex suspended, with minimal background figures and details, on broad white pages. Except perhaps for a dog’s bark, none of the noises are directly aimed at the child narrator. The level of “scary” is further reduced by showing Mommy hollering at a parking meter (or someone beyond it) and Daddy at something off the edge of the page rather than at each other.

A tried-and-true strategy, though the fright fades with unrealistic speed in this iteration. (Picture book. 3-6)