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Loud Emily


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About the Author

Nancy Carpenter is the acclaimed illustrator of Fannie in the Kitchen, as well as Masai and I, Sitti's Secrets, and Loud Emily, among other books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and cat in Brooklyn, New York.


PreS-Gr 2-Set in a 19th-century New England whaling town, this picture book champions the cause of loud children and the resourcefulness of little girls. When Emily is born, her booming "GOO GOO BA BA" startles the midwife and frightens away the birds. As she grows older, she grows louder. Rather than be carted off to Miss Meekmeister's School for Soft-Spoken Girls, Emily gets herself a job calling orders on a whaling ship. This is just the place for the boisterous child, and she blasts commands to the crew and even saves the ship during a storm. In the satisfying conclusion, Emily returns to live with her family, but this time in a lighthouse where she warns passing vessels of dangerous rocks. "And nobody there in that house by the sea ever complains of the noise." The oil paintings are styled after 19th-century folk art and successfully pull the story together. Much of the text is set against embroidery cloth, giving the book a charming, homespun look. The endpapers provide the words for several sea chanteys, along with scrimshaw-style illustrations that show Emily, her mouth open wide, hard at work with the sailors. A rollicking tale with a likable heroine that attests to the irrepressible nature of children.-Christy Norris Blanchette, Valley Cottage Library, NY

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