cover image Quiet Down, Loud Town!

Quiet Down, Loud Town!

Alastair Heim, illus. by Matt Hunt. Clarion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-328-95782-5

An elephant protagonist refuses to abide the noisiness of his city in this picture book by Heim (Hello, Door). “Quiet down, I’m trying to sleep!” he shouts at the morning traffic outside his window, both the noise level and the elephant’s crankiness evident in the hand-drawn text. It’s not just cars and trucks that get the elephant’s goat: he lambasts birds for chirping and tweeting and grouses about the “PIP, POP, PIP!” of a street vendor’s popcorn popper. But when the populace reluctantly obliges the elephant’s exclamatory imperative to “QUIET DOWN!” he discovers that nothing feels normal until he generates some noise of its own. Heim’s onomatopoeia-fest, coupled with the elephant’s comically dramatic unreasonableness, makes this an irresistible readaloud made even better by Hunt’s (How About a Night Out?) exaggerative mixed-media artwork. With pages densely populated by on-the-go anthropomorphized figures of every species and profession, both readers and the elephant will realize that city dwellers aren’t so much rude as they are high spirited—and living their best lives. Ages 4–7. [em]Author’s agent: Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Arabella Stein, the Bright Agency. (Dec.) [/em]