Please Be Quiet!
By Mary Murphy
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780395971130, 32pp.)
Publication Date: September 1999
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The little penguin from My Puffer Train is having a wonderful time hopping and skating about the house. "Please be quiet," his mother tells him, "The baby is sleeping." But it is very hard for a little penguin to keep still, and finally mother penguin sends him outside where he finds all sorts of noisy things to do with his animal friends. When the little penguin comes back inside to play, he finds a clever way to have fun and keep quiet. Filled with bright colors and familiar activities and language, this warm, reassuring book is perfect for toddlers at bedtime or anytime.
Mary Murphy has published several children's books, including I LIKE IT WHEN, which won the Parenting Magazine Gold Medal. She lives in Dublin, Ireland.
On bright square pages, a penguin child plays with boundless energy and considerable clatter ("I drum on the pot....I bounce on the bed") while a homemaking Mom-or Dad-makes repeated requests for quiet. But the child's exuberant play cannot be contained, so he-or she-is sent outside for more noisy fun with friends. The penguin parent appears loving in both expression and words ("that looks like fun!") even while directing the play outside, and when raindrops fall, the child is invited back inside under a protective umbrella-"but PLEASE be quiet!" In a series of four wordless panels, the resourceful child figures out how to do just that, donning a pair of fluffy socks to skip rope with a soft "hush, hush, hush." "Clever you!" praises the elder penguin, and at last we see the reason for all the shushing: a sleeping baby cradled in parent's arms. Experienced older siblings may guess at the existence of the baby even before a pair of tiny booties tumbles out of the sock drawer. Young children will recognize the child faced with the near-impossible task of being quiet when it's so clearly time to play, and will be gently reassured by the parent who loves him, noise and all. The illustrations with friendly animals, bold colors, and thick black outlines are in much the style of Lucy Cousins and hold similar appeal, and the sturdy pages will stand up to eager fingers.
Cheerful, flashy colors herald this book for toddlers from Murphy (Caterpillar's Wish, p. 454, etc.). The stout pages depict the doings of a young, boldly outlined penguin, who is making a lot of noise. He (or she) bangs pots, jumps a lot, roller skates around the house, and in each instance, a parent penguin asks for quiet, until finally: Outside, please!' The youngster waltzes down the garden path, where he meets up with his pals, a piglet and a bunny, for some hopping, rolling, and puddle-jumping. When his mother says he can return to the house, he has an idea: He can dance around in a pair of socks to muffle the noise. Clever you!' says his mother. The simple, recognizable antics along with the flamboyant blue, yellow, and red should catch and hold onlookers, as will the closing page; the little penguin, now settled in his mother's lap along with the baby, tells the crying child, Please be quiet!' What goes around, comes around, in this jolly glimpse of a child's noisy needs. Kirkus Reviews
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