A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Rhyming "aw" sounds. Identifying sounds from sound and visual clues. Shows a bit of what apartment living looks like.
Implicit in art: Apartment buildings can include people of different races and backgrounds. Couples can be people of different races.
Positive Role Models
People of different races live harmoniously in an apartment building, despite noise distractions.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Noisy Night, written by Mac Barnett (author of Caldecott-Honor books Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole) and illustrated by Brian Biggs, is a rhyming book that strives to ask the question posed by apartment dwellers everywhere: What in the world is going on upstairs to make so much noise? The book starts at the bottom floor and works upward, each resident asking about the floor above, "What is going on above my head?" The sounds made on successive floors rhyme, and there's repetition, with opportunity for prediction. The building houses residents of various races, including a black and white interracial couple, and funny animals. This book melds a clever lesson on sounds rhyming with "aw" with good, silly bedtime fun.
Is It Any Good?
Apartment dwellers everywhere will relate to this fresh and funny book about all the crazy, unidentified noises coming from the floor above and preventing sleep. As Noisy Night follows the trail of sound up 10 floors, author Mac Barnett skillfully provides kids with the opportunity to guess the source of the sound before they turn the page for the answer. He's also built in a sly, seamless phonics lesson, since all the sounds ("RAH RAH RAH," "cha cha cha") rhyme with "aw."
Illustrator Brian Biggs' bright, eye-catching art provides clever visual hints, each time showing a sliver of the floor above. And he presents racially diverse residents, including an interracial couple. If kids who don't live in apartments have trouble visualizing the lay of the building, they can flip to the cover where it's pictured in full, with each noisy neighbor pictured in silhouette -- more chances to guess who's who! As the neighbors whoop it up and the noises stack up, so do the simple lessons in this antic bedtime story bracketed by a young boy on the bottom floor and an old man on the top just trying to catch some sleep.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.