Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Picture Book Review: HOLLER LOUDLY, by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Illus. by Barry Gott

Holler Loudly is quite an interesting character. Did his name give it away? Mister is.... LOUD! Louder than a baritone, mind you. The little cowboy has one mighty voice. Now, if only he knew when to use it, how to speak softly and quietly in all occasion.

Holler seems to create a mini-tempest every time he opens it. It's a wonder the roof of his house isn't blown away, that his town is actually still standing. Before everything wrecks havoc, Holler is finally asked to remain quiet.

But can he stay silent forever? Can't his mighty gift be used for a good cause? The answer to all these questions are in HOLLER LOUDLY's very own book, penned by acclaimed author Cynthia Leitich Smith, and released in Nov. 2010 by Dutton Juvenile, an imprint of Penguin Group, USA.

HOLLER LOUDLY is illustrated by Barry Gott, whose pictures add to the fun and loudness of our character. I'm no art director so I won't give you an in-depth analysis of the illustrations, but I thoroughly enjoyed them as a reader. I wondered about the media used: it seems like a mix of maybe acrylic and computerized arrangement? In any case, HOLLER's face alone makes you want to laugh (he has the biggest mouth I've ever seen in a picture book). One of my favorite parts is the family portraits, which showcase that being loud can be transmitted from one generation to another...

Another detail worth mentioning, which is always an integral part of Cynthia Leitich Smith books (picture books or young adult novels), is the diversity represented: people of all size and color grace the pages of the story.

Do you have a loud nephew or niece? Anyone you know with mighty vocal chords? Something tells me they will very much enjoy this book, especially if you read it with a LOUD voice. As for me, I know just the right person to offer it to.

Happy reading, have a wonderful week! :)


Barry said...

Hi, Nathalie, Thanks for the review, so glad you enjoyed the book! To answer your question, I create my art digitally in Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter, and Adobe Photoshop. But I always strive for a natural paint look and feel to it.
Barry Gott

Vasilly said...

I love books with diverse characters! Plus I know a few kids who are REALLY loud. :-) This sounds like the perfect book to read to my kids!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Barry! I had secretly hoped that you'll read this post and reply... You made my week. Thank you, Sir, and congratulations again on the publication of HOLLER LOUDLY! :D

@Vasilly: Now, if only I could be a fly on the wall and hear you read to those kids in a really LOUD voice... MUAHAHA! :D