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Who is shrieking so early?

Written by Ellen DeLange

Illustrated by Zafouko Yamamoto

About 'Who is shrieking so early'

Shriek - Shriek - shriek!

Each day Sam wakes up to the noise of a bird. 

It is so loud! Sam wants to wake up more peacefully... but how?

A sweet story for little early birds.


Age: 5+


Story behind the story

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International publications

'Who is shrieking so early' is (will be) available in:

Dutch (03/2020)

Danish (04/2020)

English (2021)

Bahasa, Indonesian (2021)



Especially in the summer, when my bedroom window is wide open, I wake up (too) early by the sound of shrieking magpies. Laying awake, I thought of strategies to make the birds stop shrieking. I knew that just shouting or yelling at them would not have a long term effect.  I imagined that there should be a smarter way to tackle this problem. This is how the story of 'Who is shrieking so early' came to live. Creativity and out of the box thinking often leads to an unconventional, but effective solution to a problem. 


About the illustrator

Zafeiroula Simopoulou -also known as Zafouko Yamamoto- the world of illustration is a Greek illustrator living and working in Thessaloniki, Greece. During her studies in Architecture, she realised that she loves to illustrate and draw, not buildings but fantastic characters and worlds. So after years of experimenting and self-practice she realised that this is what she wanted to do, illustrate children's books. She has collaborated with Alba Publishing House, Tota Books, Ellinoekdotiki Publishing House and more. She uses different kind of media such as watercolours, gouache, colour pencils and pastels along with layers in Photoshop. She loves the countryside, mountains and animals. She has a dog, Ozzy, whom you can see in several illustrations of hers.



Through Sam and magpie, we learn the value of friendships and calmly talking things through. 

Sam learns how to deal with frustration, and learns about tolerance. He learns to change his way to get what he wants, especially when he runs into obstacles that are frustrating him!

You also have the option to introduce kids to onomatopoeia, if you haven't yet.

I think this would be perfect to tell to kids around the age of 5 or a bit older. 

The illustrations are very pretty and colourful, sort of like a child itself has drawn and coloured it, which I quite enjoy.

Snezana - Goodreads 5*****

This is such a cute and uplifting story about a young boy and a bird that lives near his window. It teaches kids a lesson about unlikely friendships, tolerance and understanding. It would be great for kids who live near lots of wildlife. The illustrations were cheerful and really helped the story move along in a cheerful way. Would definitely recommend to patrons at my library when it comes out. 

Letitia-Elizabeth - Goodreads 5*****


What will you do if an unwelcomed stranger is troubling you before you wake up early in the morning? What will you do if that happens the next day, the day after tomorrow, the day after that and you learn they will never cease to annoy you. Will you give up or face your intruder putting on a brave facade.? You will if you wish to get relieved of their rauketiness. Whoever it may be , you will wish them to stop their pesky behaviour. Is it not or will you ever put up with such pettiness and spare them ? I bet you will not swear on your life.

'Who is shrieking so early ?' has Sam , a small lad as hero. He is annoyed by a magpie' s screechy noise ahead of his alarm clock going off. He gets irated by the bird which emits a noise he finds unintelligible and distracting him from waking up quietly. His constant pleas for peace goes imperceptible by the bird. Then he has an idea. He is determined to feed the bird like his pet dog and make it to obey him. Did the magpie change or did Sam lose the battle and give up? The climax will surprise you. 

This children book is tremendous. If you have kids who have problematic people to deal with but are terrified of a bad outcome , 'Who is shrieking so early' will give them the insight to face their enemy. Who knows the opponent may even turn out to be your best companion! With patience, tolerance and understanding you can win anyone. Well spoken. Very laudable story. Illustrations by Zafouko Yamamoto make the book diverting. I recommend this book to young kids. A decent read. 

Infantina - Goodreads 5*****

Download colouring pages

See below a colouring page for you to download. 

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