cover image Noisy Night

Noisy Night

Mac Barnett, illus. by Brian Biggs. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-967-2

It’s late, and no one is being very neighborly in the apartment building at the center of this unruly story. A well-matched Barnett (The Magic Word) and Biggs (Tinyville Town Gets to Work!) start on the first floor, where a kid is awakened by noise from the apartment above. “What is going la la la above my head?” the boy asks. The answer is revealed on the next spread: “A man is singing opera above my head.” This pattern repeats for on each of the building’s 10 floors, with disturbances at each stop (“rah rah rah” “cha cha cha”), until a cranky old man in the top apartment shuts the whole thing down with an emphatic “Go to bed!” Funky choices in color, texture, and typography lend an appropriate devil-may-care air to Biggs’s spreads, and he cleverly teases each successive vignette by letting a slice of it peek through, like film caught between frames. The improbable cast—which includes a sheep, pair of cowboys, and a cheerleading squad—and their percussive exclamations will elicit plenty of bedtime chuckles. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)