What's That Noise?


A funny, tender tale of two brothers together in one scary room—and their triumph over things that...

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A funny, tender tale of two brothers together in one scary room—and their triumph over things that go bump in the night.




What’s that noise? Alex’s little brother, Ben, is frightened when the night
noises start up, and he wants Alex to sing a song to comfort him. But will
Alex be brave enough to walk across the cold, dark floor with the night
noises all around him?

Alex calms his younger brother when they hear strange noises at bedtime, but is he brave enough to cross the cold floor of their dark room when a feet-grabbing, toe-eating, noise-making "something" might get him?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This cheery tale proves that there's safety in numbers, at least in the dead of night. With the lights out, a chilly violet glow falls over the bedroom of Alex and his younger brother, Ben and suddenly it feels as if the boys are hosting a veritable convention of spooky noises ("aroo aroo aroo") and spectral shadows (a branch outside casts a shape that's a dead ringer for a boy-eating dragon). Ben wants Alex to come over to his bed and sing a silly song to buck up their spirits. But as Edwards (Chicken Man) and Root (What Baby Wants) observe, who knows what kind of "foot-grabbing, toe-biting something that went whoosh aroo hoo" might grab Alex as he makes the long, cold trek across the room? Working in watercolor and ink, Meisel (Talk to Your Cat) uses every angle of his single, almost monochromatic setting to make the boys' anxieties palpable. He also takes comic advantage of the book's horizontal format, not only exaggerating the space between the beds, but also breaking down Alex's journey to Ben's bed into three separate drawings, so that the trip is simultaneously a nail-biter and a rib-tickler. The final picture, which contrasts the vastness of the dark room with the two boys happily snuggled together in Alex's narrow twin bed, is a comforting tribute to Ben's courage and brotherly ties that bind. Ages 4-7. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-A story of how imagination can run amok, and how one can learn to keep it in check. One dark night, two brothers are put to bed, and before readers' eyes, stuffed animals that looked friendly by day now cast ominous shadows. Then the boys start to hear noises, and are terrified. However, Ben and Alex are independent and plucky, relying entirely on their own resources. Together they create a song that names all of the noises, singing of owls and dogs howling. This song gives them enough peace to finally fall asleep. The pages, all in dusky purple hues, help to evoke a sleepy night. The shadows that fall in the room have the right hint of spookiness without being too frightening. It is easy to see how everyday objects can look a little scary in the shadows, but the illustrations keep the story light, reinforcing the fact that these fears can be overcome. A great choice for family sharing.-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brothers band together at bedtime in this reassuring take on a familiar theme. As soon as the lights go down, a tree limb throws threatening shadows across the floor, a toy dinosaur takes on a menacing aspect, and worst of all, the night is filled with mysterious WHOOSHes and HOOs. Little Ben begs big brother Alex in the other bed to come over and sing him a song. The thought of crossing a cold, dark floor where "something might grab his feet" and "something might bite his toes" has Alex clutching his teddy bear-but when Ben suddenly goes quiet, he has to investigate. Meisel depicts the brothers from high angles, moving in to show anxious faces, then panning back for a view of the shadowy (but not very dark) room. Alex finds Ben hiding under the blanket, crawls in to join him, and sings a made-up song: "WHOOSH goes the wind, AROO goes a dog. . . ." Even the dinosaur's smiling in the final scene. Unlike William Carman's What's That Noise? (p. 802), there are no scary imaginary monsters here to leap out at viewers, nor is a child made to confront night fears alone-and the idea that even older sibs aren't immune to those fears may make susceptible younger ones feel better. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763613501
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1902
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.58 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Edwards and Phyllis Root live on opposite sides of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. Phyllis Root has written many children’s books on her own (including WHAT BABY WANTS, RATTLETRAP CAR, and KISS THE COW!), and Michelle Edwards has written and illustrated many children’s books on her own. WHAT'S THAT NOISE? is the first book they have written together. When the sun sets in Minneapolis, Phyllis Root grabs her teddy bear. Across the river in St. Paul, Michelle Edwards plugs in her night-light. And when they hear WHOOSH AROO HOO outside their windows, they both sing the night noises away.

Paul Meisel has illustrated numerous books for children, including two books by David Elliott, THE COOL CRAZY CRICKETS and THE COOL CRAZY CRICKETS TO THE RESCUE!

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