Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep!: Listen to the City

Overview

Dawn until dusk, the city is alive with sounds, from the TING-ALING- A-LING of an alarm clock in the morning to the BEEEEEP! BEEEEP! of traffic in the afternoon to the quiet SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH of evening. Noted illustrator Beppe Giacobbe’s bright palette and pleasing cityscapes bring the excitement of the city to life in a story that begs to be read aloud again and again.

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Overview

Dawn until dusk, the city is alive with sounds, from the TING-ALING- A-LING of an alarm clock in the morning to the BEEEEEP! BEEEEP! of traffic in the afternoon to the quiet SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH of evening. Noted illustrator Beppe Giacobbe’s bright palette and pleasing cityscapes bring the excitement of the city to life in a story that begs to be read aloud again and again.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In spare, elegant illustrations, the city is seen on many levels – underground, street and elevated – with the boy moving through a forest no less mysterious than the jungle room of Maurice Sendak.” —New York Times Book Review

The irresistible cityscapes and playful text will have young urbanites and those anticipating big city sojourns clamoring for repeat visits” —Booklist

“A vivid sliver of city life.” —Kirkus

Rich Cohen
In spare, elegant illustrations, the city is seen on many levels—underground, street and elevated—with the boy moving through a forest no less mysterious than the jungle room of Maurice Sendak. The book ends as it begins, with the boy asleep in his room, the moonlight beaming in, the city waiting only for him to be old enough to step out and carouse.
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Nicole Peterson Davis
The city has many sounds that can be heard day and night. Many of these sounds do not involve people at all. Some of the sounds can only be heard if you are listening carefully. This book, full of onomatopoeia, illustrates the sounds of the city. The story is a short poem, but the meat in this book comes from the illustrations. The paintings show various city scenes, such as the bridge lifting, people on the street, cars honking, and garbage trucks rocking. This book will teach young children about sound. Slightly older children can read the book since the text on each page is succinct. Children who live in a large city can easily recognize the sounds. Children who live in the country will also be able to recognize most of the sounds, but they will be in a new context. This musical celebration of city life can be experienced over and over again in the book. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson Davis
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

A day in the city begins and ends peacefully with the ticking of the alarm clock and a child's sleeping sounds. The pages in-between showcase scenes from the bustling streets against the backdrop of skyscrapers and public transportation. The rhymes that accompany the story are short but evocative. The day holds many sights and sounds that crescendo with the louder noises. The artist uses a vivid mix of primary and secondary colors to set the stage. At night, the city is transformed using a rich purple with the only light coming from the moon, house lights, and car headlights. Like a scene from a movie, the last spread zooms out of the boy's room to the silhouette of the city and shows a suspension bridge leading into the darkness. A more chaotic page shows lanes of cars with honking horns accompanied by a descriptive rhyme, "Drivers shouting,/In-and-outing." The sounds are placed above or below the objects producing them. The placement and size of the descriptor are never the same. The words "RUMBLE" and "RATTLE" are concealed within a trestle carrying a subway car. Close inspection reveals the boy in almost every scene. The concept is similar to Marilyn Singer's City Lullaby (Clarion, 2007), but more straightforward. A fine selection for children wanting to transport themselves to another place without the hassle of travel.-Lori A. Guenthner, Baltimore County Public Library, Randallstown, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Using rhymed couplets of only four or five words, Burleigh makes a poem of the noises any child might hear in an urban environment: the alarm clock, the subway, traffic, demolition. The verses sit on each full-page, full-bleed spread while onomatopoeic words splash across the page, incorporated into the artwork: clunk, beep, ring. Giacobbe uses matte color to define his strong shapes and often matches the words to the image: "Flutter flutter" for "pigeons strutting" has white and fluffy letters; the struts under a train bridge form the words "RUMBLE/RATTLE" with their crossbeams. The story, which is told entirely in those tiny couplets, splash words and images, takes a boy through his day, from riding the subway to school with his mom, sketching in art class while watching barges on the lake, getting ice cream and coming home past the "wrecking ball smashing." At home, the images sink into quiet, as the boy has dinner with his family and then falls to sleep, "Darkness creeping, / City sleeping . . . ." A vivid sliver of city life. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416940524
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 676,067
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including the award winners Hoops, Lookin’ for Bird in the Big City, and Toulouse-Lautrec: The Moulin Rouge and the City of Light. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Beppe Giacobbe is an acclaimed Italian graphic artist. His portraits for Rizzoli book covers have received many accolades. He is the illustrator of several other children’s books. Mr. Giacobbe lives in Milan, Italy.

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