Little Donkey doesn’t want lunch, until the ducks do, in Kromhout’s bonbon of a tale.
“Lunchtime,” calls Mama. Little Donkey ascends his towering highchair. Van Haeringen places donkey (in natty blue headgear) and chair on a great field of hot orange, with linework that is beguilingly simple. (In addition to a snood of her own, Mama sports a voluminous housedress that has been crossed with a green barber pole.) Once he’s aboard, Mama offers some tidbit. Little Donkey balks, just because little donkeys do that on occasion. The text is simple but both humorous and direct: “ ‘Here comes a train!’ says Mama. ‘My tummy says no.’ ” In a fit of playfulness, Little Donkey zips the plate through the air like a Frisbee. Mama doesn’t fly off the handle; she figures it is time to go to the park, where there are some ducks. “Hello, ducks. Little Donkey isn’t hungry. Eat as much as you like.” Little Donkey has a sudden change of heart, or stomach. But he is willing to share his lunch with the ducks. Good thing, since there are a lot of them.
A perfect, elemental fusion of story and art. (Picture book. 3-6)