cover image Crash Bang Donkey!

Crash Bang Donkey!

Jill Newton, . . Albert Whitman, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-1330-9

Children who are always being told to quiet down will appreciate the story of a noisy donkey whose racket turns out to have real value. Farmer Gruff spends his days defending his crop from marauding crows, and he's short of sleep. When Crash Bang Donkey shows up with his musical instruments—“PLINK PLONK PLONK PLINK! 'Come on, Pigster, feel the groove!' ” he brays—the farm animals try in vain to keep him from waking the farmer. But after sending the donkey away, Farmer Gruff changes his mind when he discovers that Crash Bang Donkey's music making is good for keeping the crows away. Newton's (Larry and Rita ) fluffy, pastel animals and landscapes work well with the pastoral setting, though they don't exactly play up Crash Bang Donkey's raucous obliviousness as he bangs on his drums and blares his trumpet with groovester abandon. The best spreads are the closeups that pit the donkey against a single adversary: a shocked chicken or an irritated Farmer Gruff. The ample onomatopoetic words encourage reading aloud at the maximum decibel level permitted. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)