Who’s That Banging on the Ceiling? by Colin McNaughton

Anyone familiar with high-rise living will be able to relate to the residents of the noisy building in this book, each of whom has to contend with some rather strange noises travelling down from the apartment above them — never mind the fact that most of them are guilty of making a racket themselves.

Designed to be turned on the side so that you flip the pages downwards, every page of the book shows a cross-section view of one room on a particular floor, such that the spine separating the pages also cleverly doubles up as the ceiling of the apartment below (i.e. the conventional left page) as well as the flooring of the apartment above it (i.e. the conventional right page). The thing about only hearing all these strange noises (boinging, squeaking, splashing, etc.) without actually knowing for sure what is happening, means that anyone is free to speculate and jump to their own hilariously wild conclusions: say, elephants jumping on pogo sticks, giant mice, or even a wild pirate sea battle — all brought to life via the wacky illustrations.

Alas, as the author also cheekily demonstrates, there’s usually a sensible (read: boring) explanation for the noise, which kinda makes you draw the conclusion that sometimes things ARE better left to the imagination (although, you never know, life can get stranger than fiction). But what’s for certain is that answering the question “Who’s that banging on the ceiling?” has never been more fun or full of possibility.

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