What’s That Noise?

Candlewick. Mar. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536213522.
K-Gr 2–When Magnus the seal awakes to an odd rumbling, he consults his other Arctic friends one at a time to help determine the source of the noise. Only later do the animals find out what the rumbling is, with hilarious results. Howarth’s use of repetition and other classic storytelling elements make this an excellent read-aloud, while her addition of the rumbling sound on every other page makes the tale somewhat interactive for audiences. Her artwork is equally charming; the animal friends are perfectly balanced between cartoon and realistic, while her light background color palette gives a relaxing tone and sets her characters apart. The author’s note in the back gives facts about each of the animals mentioned and talks about climate change, addressing how some of the animals, like the polar bear and the seal, are having difficulty adapting to environmental changes. This can serve as a great bridge to further discussion.
VERDICT A charming read-aloud and a good addition to elementary library collections.

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