Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jill Newton & illustrated by Jill Newton

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8075-1330-9
Publisher: Whitman

This book, told with a sure storyteller’s voice, will be a crowd pleaser. On the very first page, it is obvious that red-bearded Farmer Gruff needs more sleep. Day and night, he must chase away the crows that are eating all his corn. As the Farmer sleeps in exhaustion, all the little animals on the farm quietly tiptoe through the day, until… With a crash of color and text that yells, Donkey barrels over the hill in full bray, banging on a bass drum. All the other animals rush to quiet the noisy donkey, who blasts trumpets, twangs guitars and plunks on keyboards, all with onomatopoeic textual accompaniment that begs audience participation. Being a groovy and obedient Donkey, the noisemaker sadly secludes himself in a faraway barn. Even from there, though, Donkey’s cacophony scares away the crows, a surprising solution that illustrates there is a time and a place for everything. Newton captures the boisterous fun without tipping over the edge into wildness—just right for a young audience. (Picture book. 4-8)