Nora is a middle child. Her older sister Kate plays chess and reads with their father. Baby Jack keeps the whole family hopping, leaving Nora to wait. She feels neglected. In an attempt to get attention, Nora makes as much noise as possible, slamming doors, knocking over lamps, and pouring marbles on the floor. When this does not get the reaction she wants, she announces she’s leaving, and quiet descends over the house. The silence is more unnerving to her family than the noise, and they quickly go in search for her. But Nora’s not far away, and makes her loudest noise ever as she returns to her family.
This classic children’s book by Rosemary Wells was released with all new illustrations in 1997. The new pictures are more colorful and vibrant. Some parents may worry about the fact that part of the repeated refrain is Kate calling her sister “dumb”, or that Nora is willfully misbehaving with no remorse or punishment. But most parents will look past the details and see the story for what it was meant to be: a celebration of children who are feeling left out and don’t know what to do about it, with the underlying message that even if the family does not seem to be paying attention, there is still an abundance of love and affection for the “neglected” child.