Conga Crocodile

Nicole Rubel, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-58773-7
Rubel, with Jack Gantos co-creator of the Rotten Ralph books, introduces yet another obstreperous fellow--and again displays her wry sense of humor. From birth, Conga has been banging on everything within reach--first his mother's nose, then his sister's head and, finally, a drum that his grandmother gives him, exclaiming, ``That boy has rhythm!'' Ralph bangs his drum incessantly, annoying his family and causing chaos on the streets (he manages to disperse a marching band (``the marchers got out of step and bumped into each other''). But Conga gets his big break one night when he's asked to substitute for Sticks Snarely, drummer for the Boppity Be-Bops. His stellar performance at the ``annual animal disco'' brings him fame and fortune, and he moves to Los Angeles, ``where he still bangs his drum and endorses headache relief commercials.'' Rubel's comic pictures showcase a wide range of animals dressed in outrageous outfits (a snake wearing a flowered dress slithers onto an escalator, purse in mouth; the singer in Conga's band, a monkey, sports a particolored dress and a fruit-basket headdress). Funniest of all are the irrepressible Conga's ever-changing facial expressions. Noisemakers in particular will get a bang out of this. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
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