Milky Way. Feb. 2022. 56p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781990252044.
PreS-Gr 2–Poor Mr. Martin! He likes to drink his coffee and read his newspaper in peace, but his neighbors, try as they may, always seem to forget. The stout, bespectacled man is forced to lean out his window and yell “QUIET!” Eventually, “fed up with his neighbors’ ruckus,” Mr. Martin takes matters into his own hands at the hardware store. The clerk’s ingenious solution results in a giant hardened bubble that envelops Mister Martin’s house. Mister Martin is overjoyed by the silence—until he is not: “The silence was deafening.” He feels lonely and forgotten and wants out of the bubble, but it takes a little boy and a (loud) solution to provide the fitting escape. The black pen and ink drawings with sparingly applied color depict a neighborhood bursting with noise: Vehicles, a crew of people, and a circus complete with elephant, tiger, clowns, balloons and more all convene in the square outside Mister Martin’s tall apartment building. When the blue bubble surrounds Mister Martin’s house, the illustrations outside the bubble are devoid of color, and a wide-shot view of Mister Martin stuck in his blue bubble and surrounded by white space reinforces his separation from the world. The text’s clever use of idioms such as “silence is golden” and “silence speaking volumes” lends another level of humor to this tale of a grumpy man who comes to appreciate the joy of a little noise.
VERDICT Desiring peace and quiet may be a familiar theme, but the appealing approach in this title will prompt laughter and appreciation as a cantankerous man comes to appreciate a little noise.

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