Whoops! by Suzi Moore; illustrated by Russell Ayto (2015)

[Published by Templar]


The out-loud-reading-speed-test is a wee invention of mine, that gives a fairly accurate indication of how fun a picture book is to read aloud. It’s pretty scientific/mathematical, so I won’t bore you with all the formulae, but, in simple terms, if I find myself reading a book really fast by the end, it means it’s a winner.

As I trial-read Whoops! to my husband while he cooked dinner, I accelerated to such speeds, he nearly lost his eyebrows. A definite A+ on that test paper.IMG_1913

“This is the cat
who didn’t know how,
she didn’t know
how to say MEOW.”

It’s not just the cat with vocalisation issues, her friends dog and mouse are also decidedly voiceless. The owl recommends a visit to the old lady at the tumbledown house who will have just the spell for the silent trio.

“She went to look at her big spell book.
She cast a spell but the whole house shook.
Then the wind blew in.
And the rain came down.
And the tumbledown house
turned round and round.”

Her first attempts at spell casting are not hugely successful, so the whole process is repeated… several times. Finally everything is right with the world again, the cat miaows, the dog barks and the mouse squeaks. And the little old lady? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens to her!

A whole bunch of fun in a very stylish package.

Check out Whoops! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Whoops! from Fishpond.

[Recommended by Pranita – thanks Pranita, excellent taste as always!]


Hippobottymus by Steve Smallman; illustrated by Ada Grey (2015)

[Published by Little Tiger Press]

hippoWell that was unexpected! I often power-read through my latest stash of picture books, and sometimes like today, a farting hippopotamus is my punishment for not paying attention!

I love the rhyme and beat of this story, I could read books like this aloud all day.

“A mouse sat down by a bubbling creek –

The creek went bubble and the mouse went squeak!

Squeak, squeak, bubble, bubble, squeak, squeak, squeak.

Squeak, squeak, bubble, bubble, squeak, squeak, squeak!”

More animals join mouse and his rocking tune with centipede kindly providing the rhythm with his tappity feet. It’s something of a symphony and the animals congratulate themselves on their beautiful music. Mouse is about to be hailed as the party starter, but up pops Hippopotamus, pronouncing himself the IMG_1780inspiration behind the melody. And while I may have slightly given away the punchline in my introduction, I will say no more, leaving you to discover the full extent of the hilarity for yourselves.

The animals are wonderfully illustrated, their enthusiasm is contagious. I have a series of good words for this one, rollicking, and rocking and of course parpingly good fun!

Check out Hippobottymus at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Hippobottymus from Fishpond.


Boom bah! by Phil Cummings; illustrated by Nina Rycroft (2009)

[Published by Working Title Press]

boomIf you’re a fan of making crazy noises at preschool storytime then this picture book is going to make you very happy.

“Ting! Shhh! Listen! What’s that sound?

Tong! Shhh! Listen! Gather round.”

Animals using boxes, bowls, spoons and sticks combine together to create a sweet symphony of sound.IMG_1599

The rhyming language is so much fun to read, as are all the taps, clicks, bongs and BOOM BAHS!

Check out Boom bah! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Boom bah! from Fishpond.


The little little girl with the big big voice by Kristen Balouch (2011)

[Published by Simon and Schuster]

littlePiles of assignments means I’m going to make up for a lack of content in today’s post by talking REALLY LOUDLY INSTEAD. A small girl with a large voice manages to frighten almost every animal in the jungle.

“She came upon a crocodile giggling in the sun. But something scared the crocodile away.” It isn’t until she meets a lion that her noisiness becomes an asset and together they have a whole bunch of raucous fun.

Minimal text and bright illustrations make this perfect for an audience of preschoolers. Noisy good times.girl

Check out The little little girl with the big big voice at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy The little little girl with the big big voice from Fishpond.


Shout! Shout it out! by Denise Fleming (2011)

[Published by Henry Holt and Company]


Look out world, today we’re cutting loose, we’re letting it all out in an auditory explosion. Think a party of exclamation points, bemused bystanders and post-yelling hoarseness and you’re on the right track.

I’m very new at this whole teaching lark, so have no authority on the subject, but I feel it’s safe to say that some days kids are just really noisy. In spite of all the very best classroom management techniques, and most magnificent flexible pedagogy, there are times when it might be best just to admit defeat. I propose this would be the perfect time to reach into your box of voluble tricks and bring out, Shout! Shout it out!20150315_140555

It goes a little something like this, “Everybody loves to shout. So, if you know it, SHOUT it out! Ready. Set. Go!” This is followed by the numbers 1-10, the entire alphabet, a smattering of colours, a bunch of animals, and finally a succession of vehicles. Each time our deliciously diverse narrators encourage the
audience to shout out the words.

So simple, so satisfying. I dare you, give it a go.

Check out Shout! Shout it out! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Shout! Shout it out! from Fishpond.


Say boo to the animals! by Ian Whybrow; illustrated by Tim Warnes (2012)

If you’re looking for a great crowd-participation preschool read-aloud then I’ve got the perfect choice for you today. Lovely to read, with adorable illustrations, heaps of great animal noises, and “boo-ing” it’s bound to be a giant pile of fun at storytime.

“Ready, steady, off we go!

Creep through the woods on tippy-toe.IMG_1349

We’re off to meet some animals, and when we do If you see a scary one, just say BOO!”

Check out Say boo to the animals! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Say boo to the animals! from Fishpond.


Who’s that banging on the ceiling? by Stuart McNaughton (1992)

bangingThis book is so clever, I can’t believe we’ve never met before. Turned on its side you begin an interesting journey from the ground floor up an apartment building. On each floor the residents complain about the noise from the floor above and speculate what could be creating such a din.

As we turn each page we discover the real culprits (the dinosaur for example is Mr Fettle on a typewriter) who then moan about the floor above, and on and on until we reach the delightfully noisy top floor.IMG_1319

You could spend a long time enjoying this brilliant book with a class of kids trying to guess the source of each ruckus.

Check out Who’s that banging on the ceiling? at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Who’s that banging on the ceiling? from Fishpond.