Noisy Nights by Fleur McDonald, illustrated by Annie White (Omnibus Books)
HB RRP $24.99
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
Farmer Hayden cannot sleep. All the animals on his farm talk all night. It is just too noisy! What can he do to get them to quieten down so he can have a good night’s rest?
The text is lovely to read aloud. It has a nice soft rhythm with some repetition and new noises added as the story builds and each night is ‘noisier still’.
The solution/conclusion comes gently with Farmer Hayden, and all his animals, sleeping peacefully – he on a battered old chair on the front veranda and the animals scattered around him.
White’s illustrations echo this soft tone. Her character’s expressions convey the emotions of the story -- especially Farmer Hayden’s which are priceless. Among my favourites are the ones of him pulling his bed cap over his eyes with the mouth and body gestures fully conveying his exasperation, and the picture of him dozing, slumped against the cow he is milking, who looks both concerned and surprised.
Although a book about noise, this sweet picture book is quiet enough to become a favourite bedtime read for young pre-schoolers – 3 to 5 years - with plenty of animals to look at and noises to explore.