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Children's Fiction Humorous Stories

Who Is Shrieking So Early?

by (author) Ellen DeLange

illustrated by Zafouko Yamamoto

Initial publish date
May 2021
Humorous Stories
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 10
  • Grade: k to 5


“Persistence makes a difference in this understated charmer” – Kirkus Reviews

Early in the morning, just before Sam's alarm clock is about to go off, a strange sound enters the bedroom. SHRIEK! SHRIEK! What's that noise? This is not a good way to start the day! Sam is woken up by a loud bird, but he tries to sleep through it. What can Sam do to stop it? This bird is relentless! Will Sam find a new friend in this magpie and finally manage to sleep in?

A cheerful picture book about understanding, tolerance and patience, and also chirping birds, from the author of A Warm Friendship and When I Look Up, for early birds ages 5 years and up.

About the authors

Ellen DeLange's profile page

Zafouko Yamamoto is a children's book illustrator who lives in Greece. A trained architect, she loves to illustrate homes and the people and animals that live in them. She is the illustrator of Ada Lovelace from the bestselling Little People, Big Dreams series.

Zafouko Yamamoto's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Waking up early to a loud noise, Sam is quite indignant.
The alarm clock reads 6:30, and the White boy wearing a hat with a pompom and his small brown dog sporting a scarf are both startled from sleep by “SHRIEK SHRIEK” (printed in a scratchy, faux handprinted display type). He spots a blue, white, and black bird in a tree. The bird plagues the boy each day. Sam shoots water from the hose at the bothersome bird, clangs the metal garbage can, and posts a picture of a predator owl. No parent appears, but a friendly man (also White) offers some advice from over the hedge: “Have you tried to make friends with the bird?…Magpies can be very smart, you know.” Sam gets an idea from his dog. Maybe he can teach the bird to let him sleep. He sets up a chalkboard with stick figure drawings and lectures the bird. Kids will want to interpret the drawings and point out the magpie watching carefully from a tree stump nearby; the dog, a squirrel, and other birds all pay close attentiontoo. Finally Sam’s hard work pays off. The “smart” magpie surprises Sam, as the bird learns some human words (as magpies can) and one morning cheerily substitutes “WAKE UP WAKE UP”—albeit still at sunrise. Pleasingly naïve illustrations of a rural town accompany the smooth translation in this Dutch and Flemish import.Persistence makes a difference in this understated charmer. " - Kirkus Reviews

"An unexpected story of problem-solving. (…) VERDICT This fun and colorful story (…) is perfect for any child who chafes at early mornings." –Elizabeth Speer, ­Weatherford Coll., TX

"This is a cute story about a little boy befriending a bird he once found annoying. This would be an excellent book for a child to read with their family as a bed time book, allowing for conversations about big feelings, planning, and perseverance. I was especially impressed with the illustrations they were unique, beautiful, and added to the understanding of the story. Kids will love this read to them especially if the reader shrieks! Like the magpie." - Seattle Public Schools

"I loved this simple but engaging story. I also read it to a nephew and he had great fun imitating the bird in all the right places. More importantly there is a message of empathy and understanding. Highly recommended." - Saviour Pirotta

"I liked this sweet book as a story of tolerance and perseverance, but I can’t help wonder, “HOW did he DO it?” This is a fun one." - Anoka-Hennepin Schools

Other titles by Ellen DeLange

Other titles by Zafouko Yamamoto