When Abigail can't concentrate in class, she gets bored and does naughty things! Abigail is sent to the cooling down room. Then she has a music class. She can't make any of the instruments work! Just when things are about to go wrong again, the teacher discovers exactly what to do to engage this little girl, and Abigail ends up finding a special voice of her very own.
Reviewed by Caroline Bradley
Loud! is a shout out for children who feel like their voice, however loud, just isn’t heard. When Abigail is late to her music lesson, the teacher welcomes her in. When Abigail screams in frustration that she can’t play the instruments, her teacher compliments her voice and invites her to sing.
This is another sensitive portrayal of a child who experiences difficulty fitting in with conventional social situations. This time the main character, Abigail has challenging behaviour. After giving us Talking is Not My Thing, we now have a character who talks, shouts, screams and by conventional standards is very naughty.
Rose Robbins brings us a story to remind us that disability does not limit potential if handled correctly. The inspirational teacher (themselves wheelchair bound) is calm, compassionate and does everything right to ensure Abigail feels good about herself and is able to contribute to the lesson. She offers her choice and agency in her learning and Abigail, initially bursting with frustration, is bursting with pride by the end of the story. It is evident that Rose has experience with children like Abigail and really knows how they would react to situations.
So many lessons can be learned by children and adults reading this simple story. A smile and a compliment are key tools in tackling challenging behaviour. Everyone has the right to be understood and we are also reminded of the value of teamwork and that hard work and commitment get results…practise makes perfect!
Inspired by such legends such as Maurice Sendak and William Steig, Rose has created her own back catalogue of curious creatures to select to appear in her stories. I can’t wait to see who we meet next!
Far from being loud herself, Rose’s calm and humble approach is an antidote to a world of meaningless noise. She is a voice for children who are shouting to be heard and her books are an essential component to an inclusive classroom.
Listen to the song I Just Wanna Be Understood.