Fox's Night Noises was delightfully illustrated by Terry Denton and first published by Omnibus in association with Penguin, 1989. I love the fat old dog, Butch Aggie, who lives with elderly Lily Laceby. While Lily dreams of her past, Butch Aggie becomes increasingly alarmed by noises outside the cottage. Denton's picture of a dog on her rug before the fire, one eye open and one ear up, is perfect. Each page adds a clue as to Lily's dreams, a clue as to what's going on outside, and the main picture of Lily and her dog.
Fox is spare with her text, but never afraid to be lyrical. Her descriptions are carefully chosen to reflect her theme. So we read that Lily's "hair was as wispy as cobwebs in ceilings" and her "bones were as creaky as floorboards at midnight." I also love the tiny subtext of Lily's actual age (four-and-a-half on the inside? - you and me, both, Lily!)
Night Noises joins my list of great picture books by this talented author. It would make a great resource for school children who are studying families, and be a good lead-in for a special event involving grandparents. As a follow-up activity, kids might like to write a letter to their own grandparent, or write one to Lily Laceby from Butch Aggie.
Grandparents are great - let's celebrate their importance in our lives!
(You can find more book reviews and literacy tips in the Book Chook archive, or at www.susanstephenson.com.au )