Theodore Roosevelt
Letters From a
Young Coal Miner.

When They Fight
“A good book for families to talk about together.” -Booklist, April 2000

Back to Main

The Keeper of Ugly Sounds
Written by Eleanor Walsh Meyer
Illustrated by Vlad Guzner

The Best Children's Books of the Year, Children's Book Committee, Bank Street College of Education, 1/1/2000
"In a Grimm-like tale, a screaming cranky child has a taste of his own medicine and is reformed."

Children's Book Review Service , 2/1/1999
"Written in true folktale style with a child, a sylvan elf, a difficult task, and a lesson, this story is sure to please parents and children alike. A child who only throws temper tantrums is taken by an elf to care for all the ugly sounds that are made in the world. Through the endless, laborious task, the boy understands the true nature of his screams and is returned to his parents."

Kirkus Reviews, 10/1/1998
"Although this is definitely a book with a message, some sprightly prose and manic illustrations make it easy to attend to. A little boy is born and his parents are delighted, making ‘happy mother and father noises' over him, but he responds by making a racket. The older he gets, the worse his shrieking and tantrums grow, until a little man with a big orange feather in his peaked green hat whisks him away to be the Keeper of Ugly Sounds. This is pretty hard work, what with putting the sighs in the Sigh Bag, and the groans in the Groan Bag, and then dragging the full bags to the Lake with No Bottom. And it's in the middle of a forest, too. It doesn't take long for the boy to see the error of his screaming ways. He is returned by the odd little man to his ecstatic parents in the house just ‘two inches shorter than a castle,' now filled with ‘chuckles and laughs and giggles and purrs.' Guzner's fabulous conceit for the Ugly Sounds places words and sounds (hiss, eek, grr, etc.) inside queasily shaped black-and-white word balloons, in wonderful contrast to the velvet richness of the colors of Sleepy Village and the dark, twisty forest."