Night Sounds by Javier Sobrino, Emilio Urberuaga |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Night Sounds

Night Sounds

by Javier Sobrino, Emilio Urberuaga

When the moon comes up over the mountains, all the animals in the rain forest go to sleep. But, what’s that noise? And how can the animals make it stop? “Wuaaah, wuaaah, wuaaah.” The noise goes on and on. Cuddled up inside an abandoned box, someone is sobbing, and one by one, the animals try to comfort the little one. But with each offering —


When the moon comes up over the mountains, all the animals in the rain forest go to sleep. But, what’s that noise? And how can the animals make it stop? “Wuaaah, wuaaah, wuaaah.” The noise goes on and on. Cuddled up inside an abandoned box, someone is sobbing, and one by one, the animals try to comfort the little one. But with each offering — of a blanket, some fresh water, mango, and so on — the small creature settles only briefly before wailing once again. Finally, Tiger disappears and returns with the little creature's mother. Peace is restored, until . . . ”Wuu, wuu, wuuuuuu,” cries a child in a nearby village. This time, it is the little creature who solves the problem by yelling out, “That child must have a kiss! Then we can all go back to sleep.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The animals in the rain forest desperately want to get some sleep, but there’s a baby... something in a banana crate that just won’t be soothed, even though its every request (for a blanket, water, snack, doll, etc.) is promptly fulfilled. Finally, Tiger fetches the baby’s mother (who was visiting her own parents), and the baby is revealed to be a very cute elephant—one who also has sound advice for some nearby, similarly vexed human babies. Although the narration is bumpy and literal (and the typeface isn’t all that friendly to older eyes), Spanish author Sobrino provides plenty of opportunities for loud baby wailing (“WUAAAAH WUAAAAH WUAAAAH”) and creative interpretations of the animals’ voices. But the real draw is Urberuaga’s (Manolito Four-Eyes) funny and endearing portrayal of a tight-knit but frustrated community. Working in swift strokes of ink and rich washes of watercolor and crayon, he brings a sense of immediacy to the single-plane action and gives each character a distinctive personality—even the tiny, silent frogs perched on cattail overhanging the elephant’s crate display a repertoire’s worth of expressions. Ages 3–6. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

"…A tender, sweet story with pleasurable repetition and a gratifying twist…An enjoyable read for both child and adult." — CM Magazine

"The moon comes up over the mountains
and night sounds whisper into being,
as they do every night.
The animals get ready to sleep.
The murmurs of the forest lull them and, little by little,
they fall asleep without even noticing.
But . . . what’s that noise?"
— from the book

Children's Literature - Heidi Quist
Sobrino and Urberuaga guide their readers through a troublesome night for the forest animals. Just after they've fallen to asleep, all are awaken by the crying of a creature in a box. After each attempt at placation, they fall back to sleep only to be awoken again by another cry. Different and unique animals search out a solution each time, adding an educational element. The authors maintain the audience's curiosity by keeping the nature of the creature secret until the child explains, "I want my mummy," and the mother elephant comes to succor her child. But this is not the end. Just as they are all about asleep again, they hear a human child cry in the distance. Naturally, they all yell out that the child wants a kiss, hoping to avoid another drawn out solution-seeking adventure. The illustrations are contemporary and humorous, adding an appropriate element to the story. Reviewer: Heidi Quist
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Just as the animals of the rain forest are being lulled to sleep, a little one crying in an abandoned box disturbs them all. Exactly who it is is obscured from view. As the sound continues, some of the animals are cranky or irritated or annoyed. Yet, one by one they respond to the youngster and provide the requested blanket, drink, snack, and company. The final request is "I want my Mummy!" so Tiger finds her, and returns riding on the mother elephant's back. A happy reunion ensues though the mother's reason for being away ("I went to visit your grandparents, but now I'm back") seems quite inadequate and rather neglectful. As the creatures finally go to sleep, loud crying awakens them again, and they are mad. This time it's a village baby who is upset and the little elephant knows just what is needed. "A KISS. THAT CHILD MUST HAVE A KISS! THEN WE CAN ALL GO BACK TO SLEEP." The text is amusing, sweet, and engaging. Urberuaga's illustrations in watercolor, ink and, crayon are a fine match to the text though the animals' snouts are a tad exaggerated. Their expressions are clear, and the charming details on every page are amusing.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus Reviews
The animals of the rain forest settle down for sleep, but they are disturbed by the sounds of the night in this cumulative story. Orangutan responds first to the "WUAAaah WUAAaah WUAAaah." "Why are you crying, little one?" he asks of the young creature lying in an old box. It snuffles and says, "Because…hic…hic, because I'm cold." Orangutan brings a blanket and the hope that warmth will bring peace and quiet. But 10 minutes later, there's crying again. Tapir brings a bowl of fresh water to the thirsty little one. And so it goes on, as the awakened animals become increasingly cranky. Finally, not comforted by what the animals have brought, the little one admits he wants his mummy. Tiger comes back riding on the mother elephant, and the now-revealed, very large baby gets a kiss "that can be heard all over the forest." Everyone settles down, but then: "WUU WUU WUUUuu." The animals are really upset this time, but the little elephant knows it is a child crying in the village and shouts, "THAT CHILD MUST HAVE A KISS!" Watercolor, ink and crayon pictures are bright and textured, and despite their interrupted sleep, all the animals are smiling. The bear balancing the tray of honey sweets and mango on its back is particularly fetching. Bedtime desires are gently portrayed and gathered up until it is indeed sleepy-time in this cuddlesome import. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

Groundwood Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Javier Sobrino was born in Asturias, Spain. He has been a primary school teacher since 1984 and has published more than fifteen books for children, twelve of them picture books. He lives in Tinas, Asturias, Spain. Emilio Urberuaga was born in Madrid. He has been one of Spain’s leading illustrators since 1982, and he has had major exhibitions of his work. In 2011 he won the National Illustration Prize, given by Spain’s Ministry of Culture. He lives in Madrid.

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