by Greg Pizzoli
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January 25, 2016
Pizzoli’s picture books can feel a little like Twilight Zone light: a cat who wishes away his family (Templeton Gets His Wish), a car-racing dog who unexpectedly loses (Number One Sam), a crocodile who fears a watermelon is growing inside him (The Watermelon Seed). This story is no different as it introduces a blue owl whose attempts at slumber are repeatedly interrupted by an inexplicable “squeek!” Readers instantly see that a friendly gray mouse is the culprit, but Owl isn’t so lucky. In an effort to locate the source of the noise, he clears the shelves of knickknacks and vinyl albums (he looks to be a fan of the Clash and Ramones), pries up the floorboards, and tears the roof off the house. Pizzoli’s bright colors, mid-century modern details, and fuzzy outlines offer a zingy counterbalance to Owl’s increasingly frazzled mental state. After reducing the house to rubble, Owl finally sees the mouse (“Owl smiled. He said, ‘Good night, noise.’ ”), and the two curl up in bed to sleep. Is that what the mouse was after all along? Pizzoli leaves the answer to readers. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.
February 1, 2016
Something is preventing Owl from falling asleep. Owl leans back against his white pillow and headboard. "Squeek!" says something underneath the bed. Owl's never heard that sound before, so he fastens his pink bathrobe and answers the front door. Nobody. It must be the wind; back to bed. Bidding himself goodnight, he climbs into bed--and hears the noise again. Time after time, he pops out of bed seeking the squeaker. Is it in the cupboard? He empties the shelves. Under the floor? He pulls up his floorboards. As Owl's actions ratchet up--he destroys the roof and smashes the walls, all in search of the squeak--so does his anxiety. Not until he hunkers down in bed under the night sky (his bed is now outdoors, because the house's roof and walls are gone), frantically clutching his pillow, does he see what readers have seen all along: a small, gray mouse. In simple illustrations with black outlines, textured coloring, and foreshortened perspective, Pizzoli plays mischievously with mouse placement. Sometimes the mouse is behind Owl or just out of his sightline; other times, the mouse is on a solid, orange-colored page across the spread from Owl, which removes him from Owl's scene in a rather postmodern manner. Is the mouse toying with Owl? Who knows? A funny tale about stress and an ever upping ante, with a comforting end. (Picture book. 3-5)
COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
January 1, 2016
PreS-Gr 1-Owl is just beginning his bedtime routine when he hears an annoying squeak. Readers can see that a cheerful little mouse is responsible, but Owl remains clueless about its origins. His attempts at discovering where the noise is coming from not only are glaringly wrong but also cause him to do enormous damage to his home. When he thinks that the squeak is coming from under the floor, he pulls up every last floorboard. When he is certain that he has a "noisy roof," children witness a manic Owl destroying it with a sledgehammer. The stakes get higher and higher, as will the laughs and groans from readers, until he obliterates every inch of his domicile save his bed. It is at this point that Owl spies Mouse, and with that discovery, they both go happily to sleep. While the ending is quirky and feels abrupt, kids will be greatly amused by Pizzoli's latest effort. VERDICT Filled with big, colorful illustrations and amusing facial expressions, this is a lively addition for most collections and a definite storytime addition.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI
Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
PublisherDisney Book Group
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