Little children like it when I'm loud. They find it particularly funny for some reason. I consider myself to be a relatively quiet person by nature, reserved (except where kids are concerned), so there must be something funny about me stepping out and letting my voice be heard. Now I'm not talking about my normal, voice-carries-through-a-crowd voice for storytimes, but extra special, super loud explosions. I tend to gravitate towards books that allow me to stretch my vocal chords and give the kids what they want (Mo Willems' pigeon books are especially good for this, as are some of his Elephant and Piggie books). The latest book to let me let loose is Kristen Balouch's The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice. Naturally.
The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice is loud in every way. The little girl, with her comically large, bubblegum pink mouth is quite loud, so loud that she scares away large and fierce animals left and right. Until, that is, she came upon a lion, which opened his own rather large mouth, and let loose a terrible ROAR (this bit got roars of laughter from my audience). Luckily for us, the little girl is not only really, really loud, she is fearless to boot. She laughs at the lion's roar, and together they go off and play the day away.
Loud, vibrant illustrations mark this simple story. The little girl, with her crazy black hair in pigtails, smiling brown face and striped dress, stands in contrast to bold backgrounds of green, orange and pink. Especially beautiful is the two page spread where our heroine first comes across the lion, with its colorful plants and flowers, the large, slumbering lion and the tiny ladybug hovering nearby. The text is spare and repetitive but gets the job done. Each time "something scared the elephant/snake/crocodile away" I'd raise my voice and get giggles from the crowd. This is a great storytime title, and one I'll have a lot of fun putting into the hands of my young readers and listeners.
The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice by Kristen Balouch
2011, Little Simon