cover image Ding Dong Ding Dong: Ding Dong, Ding Dong

Ding Dong Ding Dong: Ding Dong, Ding Dong

Margie Palatini. Hyperion Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0420-7

In this exercise in absurdity, Palatini and Fine (Piggie Pie; Zoom Broom) imagine the unlikely combination of a movie monster and a frustrated freelance salesman. The cryptic title, which rhymes with ""King Kong"" and mimes an insistently ringing doorbell, primes readers for a whopper of a pun: an oversize gorilla who sells ""Ape-On"" cosmetics. ""It's a jungle out there!"" moans the huge and hairy protagonist. Although he dresses to impress in khakis, a white shirt and a red bow tie, he cannot ""get his foot in the door"" (frankly, even his toes are too big). Taking his sample case in hand, he leaves the tropical forest for--where else?--New York City. After putting blush and lipstick on the Statue of Liberty, he scales the Empire State Building to hawk his wares from window to window. Palatini has a ball with product names; her sales-gorilla recommends Da-Vine perfume and Monkey See, Monkey Dew lotion. In dexterous pastel spreads, Fine presents the gorilla as hulking but congenial to all, with inky black fur that offsets the golden-pink and brick-red facades of city buildings. Never does the gentle hero abandon his chummy ad-man persona, and his schmoozy nature pays off in the predictable conclusion, which finds him in Hollywood. Provided that young readers have heard of Kong and pesky door-to-door salespeople, this wordplayful tale offers corny jokes galore. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)