Loudness can be an asset, as a precocious little hippo learns, in this hilarious, showstopping picture book from author Sofie Laguna and illustrator Kerry Argent (Sleepy Bears, Wombat Divine).
Despite her attempts at being quiet, Lily Hippo likes to be LOUD -- everybody says so, including Mom, who warns that she'll wake the baby with her singing, and her big brother, who declares that "'you make more noise than a herd of wild elephants!'" Lily also has her share of trouble at school, but when a new teacher, Miss Loopiola, shows up, Lily joins the school play and begins to recognize the merits of her noisy qualities. Miss Loopiola quickly sees that Lily has enough foot-stomping mojo to lead the dance in the play, and Lily tries her noisiest best during rehearsals. Yet when the night of the play hits, will a nervous Lily get past her stage fright and be her loudest? It's no problem -- and the audience doesn't hesitate to show its loud approval, too.
Filled with Argent's frolicsome watercolor illustrations of a fun-loving Lily prancing around and being her cacophonous happiest, this satisfying picture book gives the rewarding message of honoring your talents. Scenes of a Lily in her school play costume -- a green dress with polka-dot undershorts -- are hysterical, while the character's emotions and expressions will resonate fully with readers. For winning storytimes, read this with Alexander Stadler's Beverly Billingsly Takes a Bow or other tales about overcoming fears. Shana Taylor