The Noisiest Night by Thomas Taylor

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The Noisiest Night by Thomas Taylor

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: This lively jungle adventure has fantastically colourful, dynamic artwork and typesetting, tried & tested repetitive structure and a game of "I spy" thrown in for a good measure. The version with the audio CD comes recommended for preschoolers.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0192726766

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A little tiger, Clovis, decides to become a Night-Tiger one day. As everybody is asleep, he plays "I spy" with the fireflies and in the course of the game is being repeatedly chastised by other animals for not being asleep himself. When he goes to sleep himself at dawn, it's his turn to be kept awake by all the daytime noisy creatures.

The Noisiest Night is a very lively, energetic picture book: a perfect reflection of an excited little child that's full of beans and roaring to go when his or her parents want her to go to bed. Clovis is having a great time indeed, playing a very noisy "I spy" game and this fun is reflected in a riot of colourful, dynamic artwork, creative typography and exclamation marks. He learns his lesson at the end (it's better to sleep at night) or so the other animals (and the tired parents) might hope, anyway.

The book uses the tried and tested repeat-pattern-with-variation structure so typical for preschooler books, in this case filled by the game of I Spy. This, of course, gives a great opportunity for the little ones to shout out their guesses before Clovis, as well as for a discussion of other jungle animals and possibly an extension of the game out of the story too.

The copy I have has an audio CD attached to it, with two versions of the text, one of them augmented with music and special effects, the second more quiet but with page-turns indicated. If buying this title, the CD is definitely worth the £2 it adds to the price, and the first version is particularly excellent, read with great expression and including good soundtrack of music and animal noises. The book itself gets 3.5 BookBag stars from me, while the excellent audio ups this to a full 4-star rating.

For some mysterious reason this title is classified in 5 to 8 years old age bracket by Amazon, while it's essentially a pre-schooler picture book in form and content. My Primary-1 six year old happily listened to the audio and then read the text herself aloud, which was a good addition to her usual Story Worlds school texts. It's quite accessible to children just beginning to read as it doesn't have many challenging or unusual words and is as short as their school books; but I can't imagine her going back to it. Both the content and form is more suited to 3-4 year olds, and if you have one with a jungle-mania (which seems to be second only to dinosaur-mania in popularity) you should buy a copy now, otherwise borrow it and see how you (and your child) like it.

Thanks to the publishers for sending this lively set to the Book Bag.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? has some even wilder beasts refusing to go to sleep.

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Buy The Noisiest Night by Thomas Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Noisiest Night by Thomas Taylor at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Noisiest Night by Thomas Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Noisiest Night by Thomas Taylor at


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