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Noisy Neighbours

Posted on Apr 26, 2011

Ruth Green
(Tate Publishing)

Sid the snail is feeling rather tired and grumpy and is desperate for some peace and quiet. But wherever he goes, he seems to bump into some rather noisy neighbours: from chirping sparrows to buzzing bees, each seems noisier than the last.  After many attempts at finding a place to rest, he finally realises that the only way to have some peace and quiet is to make everybody else tired too, so he decides to have a party for all his noisy neighbours.

This funny and beautifully illustrated story will appeal to the youngest of audiences thanks to the bold and bright illustrations and simple text. Little readers will enjoy learning all about different animals, all of which are native to the British countryside, as they follow Sid on his quest for some quiet time.There is a lot going on in the illustrations for them to spot, but the simplicity of the artwork will make it easy for the youngest of readers to spot a lot of the details.

This is Ruth Green’s first picture book. She is already a renowned designer, specifically for her retro-style colourful screen prints. The retro style is particularly obvious in the patterns and palette of colours that she uses. To me, the patterns are specially reminiscent of designs  found on Mobil mugs, which were very popular in France in the 1970s. Each double-spread focuses on a different animal and a different background colour is used for each, helping to create beautiful and effective contrasts with each page turn. Despite the seemingly simple illustrations, on closer inspection it is obvious Ruth Green gives great attention to detail, especially in her use of pattern; look at the detailing on this leaf for example:
I loved this book. It is a prime example of how a picture book can be elegant and arty and still be relevant and 100% suitable to its targeted audience. Having said that, I think any grown-up who loves design an retro style will become besotted by this book too. It is a lovely ode to spring and the British countryside and if you are after for a lovely gift for a young child, don’t hesitate, this is it!
All illustrations Ó Ruth Green
Many thanks to Tate Publishing for sending me a review copy of “Noisy Neighbours”
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