cover image Too Noisy

Too Noisy

Malachy Doyle, illus. by Ed Vere. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6226-4

Doyle’s (Get Happy) story is simple—quiet Sam is overwhelmed by his big, noisy family—yet the writer’s exuberant, Gaelic-tinged wordplay and Vere’s (Banana!) edgy visuals give it real excitement. (There’s even one brief, well-managed moment of terror.) Vere draws Sam and his family as a collection of raccoonlike creatures with pointy ears and tubular snouts; big, colorful, swooping speech balloons emanate from each family member to represent his or her distinctive racket (“Mama Bungle trills and tinkles,/ Papa wheezes, then he sneezes,/ Granny Bungle clicks and clacks”). Sam’s quest for quiet (“And so he upped and so he offed and so he wandered to the woods”) starts well, but as night begins to fall and Sam loses his way, he grows nervous: “A slippy-slidy slithered down his neck!” Sam’s yells for help are reinforced by Vere’s heavy, shuddering lines. Not a moment too soon, there’s a huge commotion, and the appearance of speech balloons amid the forest trees signal that Sam’s loud and loving family has come to rescue him. It’s a gratifying fireworks display of words and affection. Ages 3–up. (Sept.)