Reviews for Louder, Lili

Booklist Reviews 2007 August #1
Newbery Honor Book author Choldenko follows How to Make Friends with a Giant (2006) with another picture book about honest friendship and confronting bullies. Lili's voice is so soft that her teacher can't hear her during roll call. During partner projects, Lili is too shy to pair up, and at recess, she hides in the classroom with a book. Then loud Cassidy chooses Lili to work with on a project, but Lili ends up doing all the work. When Cassidy wants to share lunch, Lili ends up with the carrots and Cassidy gets the cake. The final straw comes when Cassidy decides to pour glue into the classroom guinea pig's water bottle. In defending a beloved pet, Lili finds her voice, learns to assert herself, and makes a true friend. Schindler's pastel illustrations have a feathery, soft-edged texture that adds a reassuring tone to the story of a child's roiling emotions. All kids, whether they're a Cassidy or a Lili, will leave this well-told story with plenty to think about. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Lili finds it impossible to speak up in school; she can't even volunteer to take care of the class guinea pig she loves. But she finds her voice when a bossy classmate threatens the pet's safety. Both the text and the detailed illustrations are funny (as when Lili finally lets loose) and touching (as when she makes a friend). Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 September #1
Lili is so shy that her voice, when she actually says anything, is usually too soft to be heard. At recess, Lili remains in the classroom with only Lois the guinea pig for company. She is too timid to volunteer to care for Lois, so she loses the job to Rita B. Cassidy chooses Lili as a partner but turns out to be a bully. When Cassidy endangers Lois, Lili is able to yell, "Stop it!" in a voice that could be heard by "the birds in the sky and the fishes in the sea." She saves Lois, and Rita B. becomes her new partner and friend. Choldenko tells a familiar school story with humor and simplicity, using language that flows naturally and features many snappy turns of phrase. Schindler's bright, cartoon-style illustrations are just right, capturing both the actions and Lili's reactions to them, as well as incorporating many eye-catching details. A good read-aloud or read-alone that is sure to delight. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 September #3

Lili, the heroine of this perceptive classroom drama, is so reticent that her teacher marks her absent even when she's there. When it's time to buddy up, "Lili's stomach twisted and her mouth froze closed," and Lili goes partnerless. Lili seems willing to accept the consequences--there's a scene of her contentedly reading alone in the classroom during recess--until a bossy girl named Cassidy gloms onto her and takes advantage of her shyness. But when Cassidy tries to mistreat the class guinea pig, Lili finds both her voice and a true best friend. Schindler (The Snow Globe Family ) is a good match for Choldenko's (How to Make Friends with a Giant ) restrained but deeply empathetic writing; his cartooned characters and soft, penciled textures convey all the real-life angst of school without feeling maudlin or overwhelming. Readers will identify with Lili's authentic triumphs as she vanquishes not only the bully, but her own anxieties as well. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 September

PreS-Gr 2-- Lili is so shy and soft-spoken that she is almost invisible in her classroom. She fails to ask for what she wants and often ends up with what she doesn't want: a partner named Cassidy. Then one day, when Mrs. Backmeyer is absent and Cassidy is being cruel to the guinea pig, Lili finds her strongest, most forceful voice and commands respect: "Even the glue in the bottle stood still." This engaging story is well written and even poetic. Lili is a well-developed character, and her growth is believable. The warm, energetic illustrations highlight the elements of humor in the story, as when the substitute teacher is on her cell phone outside the room with the class visibly out of control within. Lili's facial expressions are priceless, especially as she shrieks "STOP IT!," and children will laugh at Cassidy's archlike pigtails, and at the birds and fish that line up along with the students. While shy youngsters may claim Lili, others will relate to her. This excellent title will spark discussions on feeling shy, practicing assertiveness, and dealing with bullies.--Barbara Katz, Parish Episcopal School, Dallas, TX

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