cover image Bang


Leo Timmers. Gecko Press USA (Lerner, dist.), $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-877579-18-9

Watching vehicles bash into one another is a perennial rib-tickler for kids, and Timmers (The Magical Life of Mr. Renny) exploits this with a marvelously loony series of fender benders. The story opens with a self-referential gag as a googly-eyed deer in a bowler hat drives what appears to be the official Bang convertible, the back loaded with copies of this very book. He’s reading a copy instead of looking at the road when, “Bang,” he drives straight into a dustbin. Behind him, a man in a red jalopy filled with chickens sounds his klaxon, but it’s too late: “Bang.” A giraffe returning from a shopping trip is next; the force of the collision dresses the jalopy chickens in fashionable new clothing. An alligator with a load of tires smashes into the giraffe, and so on. No one is hurt, there’s no major damage, and a magnificent four-page foldout depicts the final catastrophe, which provides ice cream for all. Timmers never skimps, painting with devoted attention every automotive detail and gleam in every chicken’s eye, and providing a plausible cause for every new accident. Ages 1–up. (Sept.)