Noisy nights by Fleur McDonald
Ill. by Annie White. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Farms. Noise. Animals. Sleep. When Farmer Hayden goes to bed, he tries to sleep, but the noise on his farm does not let him. His animals talk all night. The cows moo, the sheep maa, the horses nicker, the foxes howl, the crickets chirp. He tries everything: putting on ear muffs, asking them to be quiet, yelling at them to keep quiet, covering his head with his pillow, but all to no avail.
Children listening to or reading this tale will cackle with laughter at poor Farmer Hayden trying to sleep, and offer suggestions about how he might achieve this. Young readers will be able to talk about the things that keep them awake, and share that experience.
The soft watercolour and pen drawings will enthrall the readers as they see all the animals in Farmer Hayden's farm, and emulate the noise that they make. I can imagine groups of children making the noises poor Farmer Hayden hears at night, until a cacophony of sounds fills the classroom. Especially when a passing train adds to the mix of noise.
The textual repetition of the animals and the noise that they make will intrigue readers and they will join in saying the list as they proceed with the story. And many will see that a new sound is added as the story progresses.
The culmination will have the children laughing out loud as Farmer Hayden's problem is solved, and encourage discussion of the age old advice of counting sheep to get to sleep.