cover image Holler Loudly

Holler Loudly

Cynthia Leitich Smith, illus. by Barry Gott, Dutton, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42256-3

With prose as raucous as its protagonist, Smith's (Santa Knows) tall tale introduces a boy who at birth "cried so loud.... that the pecans fell from the pecan trees and the prickly pear cacti sprouted more needles." Named Holler Loudly, the boy does just that as he ages, with explosive results, as depicted in Gott's (Dino-Baseball) funky, hyperbolic cartoons. Screeching "Yippee Ti Yi Yo! I love math!" the boy creates chaos in his classroom ("Mr. Smarty's chalk burst into dust and the students ducked for cover"). He laments getting tossed out of a movie theater, ruining a fishing trip with his grand­father, and causing a stampede that closes down the state fair. When the entire town scolds him at an outdoor concert, Holler hushes up and discovers that "Quiet times... could be just fine." But not always: his vociferousness saves the day when he hollers at an approaching twister and is "so absolutely, positively, knee-shakin', earth-quakin' LOUD that the tornado blew into a thousand sweet teeny breezy breezes—not one with an ounce of sass." This effervescent collaboration, however, has sass aplenty. Ages 3–5. (Nov.)