Rauss, winner of the 2010 Cheerios® New Author Contest, reveals the travails of poor Aiden McDoodle as he searches for a quiet spot to get some sleep.
He tries upstairs, downstairs, the backyard and even the town park. But each place is too noisy: “In the library the whispers built up to a riot, / until the librarian stepped in and shouted out, ‘QUIET!’ ” When the noises of the baseball game, ice-cream truck, maintenance worker and the band practicing in the gazebo finally become too much, Aiden snaps. His plea for quiet is heard from sea to sea and into space. The world obligingly pauses long enough for him to run home, jump into bed and begin to snore before the noises resume. The lengthy lines of Rauss’ rhyming verse add to its sometimes-stumbling rhythm, and readers never find out just why Aiden is so tired, a fact that detracts from the humor, especially given his seemingly younger sister’s unflagging energy level. Shepperson’s watercolor-and-ink artwork add to this disconnect, as they depict a quite ordinary day—the noise level looks to be nothing extraordinary. But readers will certainly feel for the tired tyke, whose facial expressions say it all as he desperately tries to find some rest amid everyone else’s exuberance.
Skip this, and stick with Karen Beaumont and Jackie Urbanovic’s No Sleep for the Sheep (2005) for a story with a catchy rhythm that will really have listeners chiming in. (Picture book. 3-7)