Lily the hippo discovers that there's a time and a place for her high-volume gifts in this delightful celebration of standing out from the crowd.
Lily Hippo is too loud. She sings too loudly, she laughs too loudly, and everyone knows when she is around. At home she disturbs the peace and wakes the baby. At school she gets her friends into trouble. She can't help it. But one day a new teacher, Miss Loopiola, comes to school to teach music and drama, and Lily discovers that she is doing exactly the right thing at last. When the school play comes around, Lily finds she is loud in just the right way.
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Energetic Aussie author Sofie Laguna tells the story of an equally energetic (and very loud) young hippo in her second picture book--the first to be released in the U.S. and Canada.
Little Lily Hippo just can't keep quiet, no matter how hard she tries: "'Lily Hippo, keep it down please--I can't hear myself think!' said Dad.... 'Lily Hippo, you make more noise than a herd of wild elephants!' said Lily's big brother." Even when she's trying to do something quiet, like reading a funny book, Lily can't help but crack up, rousting the whole family with her loud laughter. But when a new teacher comes to Lily's school--Miss Loopiola, a big, boisterous drama teacher, draped in sparkly jewelry and a bright red poncho--Lily learns that her loudness might have a purpose. When Lily politely tries to dance a "fast-stomping dance" very quietly, Miss Loopiola encourages her to "try stomping just a little louder this time, please!" With her volume unleashed in an appropriate place (on stage) Lily finally gets to shine.
Illustrator Kerry Argent deserves equal praise here, adding many comedic asides and highlighting Laguna's playful characterizations of the all-animal cast. Any kid who's ever had trouble keeping quiet (that is, every kid ever) will love Too Loud Lily, a fun to read (and fun-to-read-along-to) story. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul HughesFrom Booklist:
PreS-Gr. 1. Lily is a loud little hippo. Well, not that little. Even when she's reading to herself, she laughs so loud that the whole family tells her to be quiet. But the new music teacher, Miss Loopiola, has a different opinion about noise. She likes it. So when it's time for the school play, she puts Lily in charge of banging the cymbals and drums, singing about a prince, and speaking the show's first line, "Let the show begin," which Lily delivers in her most booming voice. The applause Lily receives at the performance's conclusion is very loud indeed. The story has more of a premise than a plot, but the cheery narrative works well, and many children will empathize with loud Lily. Best of all is the art, which has a photographic clarity, even though the subjects are all clothed animals. And what fun they are, animals of all persuasions, dressed for humor; hippo teacher Miss Loopiola, for example, wears a poncho and sports pierced earrings on her pointy ears. This could make for a rousing storytime. Ilene Cooper
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