Cover image for Too quiet for these old bones
Too quiet for these old bones
Seymour, Tres.
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Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, [1997]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 26 cm
When Granny complains that her house is far too quiet, her four grandchildren are more than happy to help remedy the situation.
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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As quiet as a tomb, that's what Granny's house is like, and her four grandchildren are doomed to spend all Tuesday in her living room. Don't make a racket, Mom tells them, or Granny's nerves will go. And sure enough, Granny's temper does flare after a while. "These old bones are tired", she cries. "This house is far too quiet!" So with whoops and hollers, cap gun firing, pots banging, model rockets launching, and even "Hail to the Chief" playing on whistle and kazoo, her grandchildren happily turn up the volume in the rollicking rhymes and ever more riotous pictures of this intergenerational salute to high decibel fun.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. Four children "doomed" to spend the day at Granny's too-quiet house discover quiet isn't what Granny wants at all: "This house is far too quiet! I crave a bang, a boom, a blast! An avalanche! A riot!" Of course, her grandchildren are only too happy to comply, so they set to work banging pots, launching Dad's old model rockets, and trying to outdo each other (and Granny) in being as obnoxiously loud as possible. The rhyming text is cute and clever, and Johnson achieves an increasingly frantic mood by gradually adjusting the scale and intensifying the colors of his hilarious pictures. In these days of tight budgets, light entertainment often gets passed over in favor of curriculum-related purchases. This nicely done just-for-the-fun-of-it story may provide balance as well as laughs. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this rambunctious rhyming tale, four children learn that their grandmother shares their love of mayhem. At first, gray-haired Granny seems incapable of surprises; as the children fidget, she nods in her rocker, clad in a white cap, shawl, and black dress with lace cuffs. But suddenly, the elderly woman leaps up and demands "a bang, a boom, a blast!" The kids happily comply: "Bang she wanted, bang she'd get./ We took her at her word./ We piled the china on the steps./ An avalanche occurred." Nothing satisfies Granny's anarchic spirit, and only the arrival of a disapproving "mom" halts the commotion. Johnson (Farmers' Market) uses earth-tone acrylics framed in a clean white border to suggest a cozy house with patterned wallpaper; his stereotypical grandma looks more like a Victorian heirloom than a 1990s retiree. Seymour (I Love My Buzzard) attempts to spice up the obligatory family visit, and to show that young and old folks have a lot in common. Yet his carefully metered verse, like the controlled misbehavior, rings as false as enforced fun. In the end, the clattering pots and cap-gun shots are just as clichéd as the grandmother's pince-nez and petticoats. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2‘In this energetic story, four siblings rescue their grandmother from boredom. The kids dread the visit when their mother warns that any noise will set Granny's nerves on edge. Braced for a dreary afternoon listening to buzzing flies and watching dust settle, the children sit. Suddenly, Granny comes to life with a scream proclaiming life to be too quiet. "I crave a bang, a boom, a blast! An avalanche! A riot!" she shouts. That's all the encouragement her grandchildren need to free this poor woman from her dull existence. They break china, bang pots, shoot off rockets, slam doors, whistle, and sing. Granny reacts, "Is that the best you can do?" She teaches them how to whoop and holler like banshees and they have a ball until Mom returns. The next day they go back and sit like statues, but after their mother drives away, the fun begins all over again. Johnson's acrylic illustrations reinforce the moods and actions perfectly. Most of the characters are styled realistically, in modern dress, but Granny is portrayed as very old-fashioned, almost a caricature of the aged. She wears a nightcap and shawl over a long black dress, high-buttoned shoes with black lisle stockings, pinch-nose glasses, and has no teeth. Not many children have grandmothers who look like this today, but Granny's appearance does fit this rhyming tale. Storytimes will be enlivened with this engaging read-aloud.‘Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.