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In Review

By Elizabeth Wroten

Picture Book Review: Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! by Wynton Marsalis

On 04, Sep 2016 | In Review | By Elizabeth Wroten

Squeak RumbleSqueak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! a sonic adventure by Wynton Marsalis, illustrated by Paul Rogers

From Goodreads: What’s that sound? The back door squeeeaks open, sounding like a noisy mouse nearby — eeek, eeeek, eeeek! Big trucks on the highway rrrrrrrumble, just as hunger makes a tummy grrrrumble. Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this second collaboration by world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.

This would be an incredibly fun read aloud! There are so many great sounds and Marsalis has captured some of them with awesome onomatopoeia. Like buttering toast. It’s also a fun look around the little boy’s neighborhood and may encourage kids to listen to the sounds around them. I actually think this is an interesting activity and something that would be a lot of fun with a small group of kids or with your own child. We tend to prioritize what we can see so closing your eyes and listening can show you a lot of other things you hadn’t noticed.

The book isn’t just a bunch of sounds. There are some rhymed lines of text that usually end in a sound. I will say sometimes the text felt inserted and odd. It’s not that it didn’t fit, it’s just that I was so into the sounds that the actual words seemed to interrupt the sonic adventure. There were times the text would drop away leaving only the sounds, so it would feel jarring for it to come back. Despite that, the book lilts along nicely.

The art is that fun vintage 60s illustration style that seems to match jazz so well. The colors are bright, but scenes have white backgrounds that make the pictures pop. There are a lot of little nods to jazz greats throughout the illustrations. I’m not sure most kids will pick up on them, but adults reading the story might find them, especially if they’re fans of jazz. The typography is also a nice touch. The sound words are done in a number of fonts that complement the sound they’re spelling.

If there’s money in our budget I’ll be buying this one this year. I would say it’s worth it if you have young students or kids and do storytimes. Also if you are looking to add a good book with a group of diverse characters pictured in it to your music collection.

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