Five reasons why we love Kitsy Bitsy's Noisy Neighbours
Written by Polly Faber, illustrated by Melissa Crowton and published by Nosy Crow
An exquisitely well-written picture book with impeccable artwork and design, like this one, always takes my breath away. Forget Pulitzer prize-winning literature – a perfect picture book is, for me, a far more impressive achievement and I will be forever in awe of the people who can put them together. Kitsy Bitsy's Noisy Neighbours is one of those specimens that exalts the entire genre.
After meeting the occupants of Park View Rise – you'll want to move in! Kitsy Bitsy's Noisy Neighbours takes us through a hectic few hours in a bustling apartment block with lively characters and lots of action. There are so many reasons to love this book but here are our top five...
1. The artwork is amazing This is one of those books with intricate, eyecatching illustrations that are a joy to explore. Both of my girls adored Richard Scarry's Biggest Word Book Ever and this reminds us of it, especially the first and last pages. It's packed with cute and colourful characters engaged in everyday and amusing activities and driving interesting vehicles too. There are so many adorable and hilarious details, such as the mouse sliding down the building's bannisters and all the mice standing on top of each other to be level with Rocky Locky. We love looking at the furniture and decor in each home and were delighted to spot a lava lamp in one! The design is so clever and I love how you can always see a little bit of the apartments above and below as the story progresses; it's great how each tiny peek at the dwelling downstairs gives a clue about what will happen next.
2. It's incredibly lively
This is one of busiest picture books I've ever seen. There's so much happening on every page and the text is remarkably dynamic and dramatic too. The plot concerns an almost dizzying chain of knock-on events. A powerful energy pours through the entire story infusing it with a boundless, breathless and magnetic quality.
3. It's so well written The story is told through an animated rhyme that never misses a beat. I have so much respect for writers who can create an engaging story through rhyme. I detest clumsy rhymes with words awkwardly shoe-horning in where they don't belong. The same goes for jarring sentences structured differently to natural speech patterns. Author Polly Faber avoids these pitfalls with a beautifully bouyant narrative that flows wonderfully and is lots of fun to read aloud.
4. The characters (and their names) are brilliant Just as the rhyming text is a pleasure to read aloud, so are the character's names.
Kitsy Bitsy, Fiddle Faddle and Rocky Locky roll off the tongue, while I love that the elephant is called Tippy Toes! And the characters are just as wonderful as their titles, especially Kitsy Bitsy whose no-nonsense attitude and can-do approach are terrific.
5. It's a fabulously feel-good celebration of community This is an enormously entertaining story with an uplifting message about the importance of compassion and cooperation at its core. It shows how dancing and singing are far more fun than fighting, and proves life is better when we forgive, forget and are kind to each other.
Kitsy Bitsy's Noisy Neighbours also gets a bonus point for the recipe for "Good Neighbours Honey Cake" which is included at the back. We have yet to try it but will do so soon as my girls want to bake it for their pwn neighbours. My baking track record is appalling but with their help, we'll hopefully manage something edible! I really hope there are more books to come featuring Kitsy and her friends and their gorgeous neighbourhood. We'd love to visit them in real life and have a roof-top tea party too.
Kitsy Bitsy's Noisy Neighbours was published by Nosy Crow on 4th August 2022 – see this book on the publisher's website Thanks so much to the lovely people in Nosy Crow for sharing this extraordinary book with us – all opinions expressed are our own.