cover image The Louds Move In!

The Louds Move In!

Carolyn Crimi, , illus. by Regan Dunnick. . Cavendish, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5221-8

The arrival of a family transforms a neighborhood in Crimi's (Boris and Bella ) good-natured tale about different styles and the rewards of adaptability. On Earmuffle Avenue, the "quiet neighbors stayed in their quiet homes doing quiet things" until the Louds move in and shatter the peace. Young readers are likely to delight in the Louds' conversations, which, in their depiction of typical family chaos, may carry a familiar ring. For example, when a neighbor telephones to ask for quiet: " 'Will someone please answer the phone? ' 'Who took the remote for Pete's sake? ' 'The baby's eating the cat's food. ' 'Waaah! ' " The neighbors, aptly named Miss Shushermush, Mr. Pitterpatter and Miss Meekerton, rebuff the Louds' friendly overtures, refusing flowers and dinner invitations. Predictably, however, when the Louds disappear, the old-timers find themselves unexpectedly missing their cacophonous neighbors and regretting their lost opportunities. Fortunately, they get another chance. Characters and props appear in the forefront against white backdrops in Dunnick's (Fearless Fernie ) paintings, which capture the neighbors' different temperaments: the Louds appear with open mouths, outstretched arms and splashily-patterned attire, in contrast to their hand-clutching, tight-lipped, conservatively clothed (not to mention pin-cushion and china figurine–collecting) neighbors. Good will triumphs over stylistic differences, and warmth and good humor abound in this satisfying tale. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)