cover image SOON BABOON SOON


Dave Horowitz, . . Putnam, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24268-7

Percussive monkey mayhem—and a baboon who is all too eager to join in the raucous performance—pervades this second picture book by Horowitz (A Monkey Among Us ). Furry, curly-tailed primates pack a performance hall, as translucent, cut-paper curtains draw back and a succession of musicians takes the stage. First up, a trio of monkey brothers in pink sport coats share a trap set complete with high hat, cowbell and snare and bass drums. A baboon in yellow overalls and Woody Allen–esque glasses stands poised over the triangle, ready to go, but is silenced with a "Wait, primate, wait." Next, various simians play bongos, tambourines and a marching drum, giddily pounding away ("Chimpanzees play timpani./ Lemurs laugh along./ Orangutans bang everythang./ Gorilla's got a gong"). After an explosive finale, Baboon finally gets his moment in the spotlight. Horowitz once again proves he has an eye for detail and an ear for lively meter ("A gong/ a bong/ a crash/ a boom/ Psst... don't just stand there./ Hit it, Baboon"). He creates compositions of opaque and translucent cut paper, with charcoal and white colored pencil shading for highlights, and labels the instruments in the endpapers (the baboon in the opening endpapers sits glumly, but the closing endpapers picture him as triumphant). This rollicking read should appeal to anyone who has spent hours banging pots and pans on the kitchen floor. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)