Babies cry. Much to the chagrin of parents, they sometimes cry rather vociferously. But nothing compares to the whooping and hollering of Mama and Daddy Loudly’s infant son, Holler. Baby Holler’s wails were “so LOUD that the pecans fell from the pecan trees and the prickly pear cacti sprouted more needles.”

Though Holler Loudly’s parents try to gently admonish their infant son to “hush,” no amount of hushing or shushing will do. Holler’s excitement for school, the movies, fishing with Grandpa and just about everything in life prompts him to exclaim with phrases like “Yippee Ti Yi Yo!” and “Ye Haw!” Unfortunately, Holler’s verbal gusto is mistaken for racket, and he is scolded by just about everyone in town. Downhearted and dejected, Holler longs for folks to appreciate him for who he is. But he doesn’t have long to ponder his misery: A fierce tornado is approaching the town and threatening to obliterate all that he loves.

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s comical Southwestern tall tale perfectly captures the frustration that comes from being misunderstood. Barry Gott’s illustrations are as colorful and active as Holler’s intense voice. Young readers will be delighted by the amusing details Gott includes when depicting the huge cast of townsfolk and animal creatures.

Holler Loudly is an apt reminder that we are all unique, and in celebrating our gifts, sometimes it may be just as necessary to bellow boldly as to listen quietly.


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