Babies cry. Much to the chagrin of parents, they sometimes cry rather vociferously. But nothing compares to the whooping and hollering of Mama and Daddy Loudly’s infant son, Holler. Baby Holler’s wails were “so LOUD that the pecans fell from the pecan trees and the prickly pear cacti sprouted more needles.”
Though Holler Loudly’s parents try to gently admonish their infant son to “hush,” no amount of hushing or shushing will do. Holler’s excitement for school, the movies, fishing with Grandpa and just about everything in life prompts him to exclaim with phrases like “Yippee Ti Yi Yo!” and “Ye Haw!” Unfortunately, Holler’s verbal gusto is mistaken for racket, and he is scolded by just about everyone in town. Downhearted and dejected, Holler longs for folks to appreciate him for who he is. But he doesn’t have long to ponder his misery: A fierce tornado is approaching the town and threatening to obliterate all that he loves.
Cynthia Leitich Smith’s comical Southwestern tall tale perfectly captures the frustration that comes from being misunderstood. Barry Gott’s illustrations are as colorful and active as Holler’s intense voice. Young readers will be delighted by the amusing details Gott includes when depicting the huge cast of townsfolk and animal creatures.
Holler Loudly is an apt reminder that we are all unique, and in celebrating our gifts, sometimes it may be just as necessary to bellow boldly as to listen quietly.
Copyright 2010 BookPage Reviews.
Every few generations a Loudly baby is born loud, and Holler is one of the lucky (?) ones. Though everyone tells him to "Hush!" it's no use. When he hollers, "Yippee Ti Yi Yo! I Love Math!" his teacher Mr. Smarty's chalk "burst[s] into dust." When he goes to hear Gramps in the barbershop quartet, he hollers so loudly the entire town admonishes him toÃÂ "HUSH!" He finally does hush and the quartet sings on, allowing Holler to understand that he can hear better— "[q]uiet times... could be just fine." When a tornado roars into town, though, Holler does what he does best, blowing it "into a thousand teeny tiny breezy" pieces and saving the town. This original Southwestern tall tale has an easy rhythm, and repeated phrases and playful type make reading aloud a pleasure. The exuberant, smooth-edged illustrations feature exaggerated, open mouths (especially Holler's) and visually emphasize the chaos-inducing effects of his voice; the face-off with the anthropomorphized tornado is especially effective. A rambunctious, can't-lose read-aloud no one will want to hush. (Picture book. 3-6)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
With prose as raucous as its protagonist, Smith's (Santa Knows) tall tale introduces a boy who at birth "cried so loud.... that the pecans fell from the pecan trees and the prickly pear cacti sprouted more needles." Named Holler Loudly, the boy does just that as he ages, with explosive results, as depicted in Gott's (Dino-Baseball) funky, hyperbolic cartoons. Screeching "Yippee Ti Yi Yo! I love math!" the boy creates chaos in his classroom ("Mr. Smarty's chalk burst into dust and the students ducked for cover"). He laments getting tossed out of a movie theater, ruining a fishing trip with his grandfather, and causing a stampede that closes down the state fair. When the entire town scolds him at an outdoor concert, Holler hushes up and discovers that "Quiet times... could be just fine." But not always: his vociferousness saves the day when he hollers at an approaching twister and is "so absolutely, positively, knee-shakin', earth-quakin' LOUD that the tornado blew into a thousand sweet teeny breezy breezes--not one with an ounce of sass." This effervescent collaboration, however, has sass aplenty. Ages 3-5. (Nov.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 2--His exceptionally loud voice has always posed a problem for Holler, the young son of the Loudly family. His parents, teachers, friends, and the townspeople have hushed and shushed him all his life, but to no avail. Loudness just comes naturally to him as it has to others of his line, every several generations. Getting kicked out of a movie theater, ruining a day of fishing with Gramps, and scattering all the animals at the state fair's hog-calling contest finally convince him to settle down and understand that being quiet and listening can be quite pleasant. However, when a tornado threatens his town, Holler decides there are times to be quiet and times that require LOUD. And that's when he takes action; he shouts down that durned tornado and breaks it up into harmless bits of breezes, finally putting his gift to good use. This original tall tale with its highly energetic, brightly colored illustrations has expressive typeface showing the word "LOUD" repeatedly in bold capital letters. Readers as well as listeners will have fun with this animated story, and the Southwestern twang will just come naturally.--Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.