Crash Bang Donkey! by Jill Newton

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Crash Bang Donkey! by Jill Newton

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A sweet farmyard tale that offers something a little different to usual, but that never quite gels. There's nothing outright wrong with it, but it feels like one to borrow from the library rather than one to rush out and buy.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2010
Publisher: Gullane Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1862337206

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Farmer Gruff spends all his time chasing the crows from his corn. Eventually, he needs to sleep, so all the animals tiptoe around, making no noise whatsoever. What's this coming over the hill with a crash and a bang? Oh no! It's a donkey with a drum. How's Farmer Gruff going to get his sleep? If he can't sleep, how's he ever going to be able to keep the crows from his corn?

Crash Bang Donkey! has a clear and simple writing style, making it suitable for any young book fan. It's a little longer than the average picture book, but there's nothing that would be above the head of the very youngest. Farmyard stories immediately strike a chord with readers, and this is no exception. It's a sweet story that plays itself out at a relaxed pace, despite the bangs and crashes along the way.

Jill Newton's illustrations have a softness to them that suits the gentle tale. They've got a style all of their own, with rolling landscapes and large swathes of colour. The farmyards look lovely. I was slightly less impressed with the animals. The softness would lend itself to more natural characters, but given that they're doing wildly anthropomorphic things like playing the bagpipes, it doesn't quite gel. Whilst it doesn't ruin the enjoyment of the book, you never quite identify sufficiently with any of the characters.

Crash Bang Donkey! offers something a little different from the usual farmyard frolics. You can probably guess exactly what's going to happen, but the idea of a donkey one-man-band is something we haven't seen before. It straddles the line between being a little too predictable even for the youngest book fans, and yet also being a fresh angle on well-worn territory. I like that it tries to do something different, but, much like the illustrations, I wasn't blown away by what it actually did differently. However, if you're lapping up everything with farm animals, then it's particularly worth a look. Most other readers will find it's better as one to borrow from the library, rather than one to rush out and buy.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees is another fun farmyard tale. If you want to enjoy the plant side of agriculture instead, check out The Giant Carrot by Allan Manham and Penny Dann and Peas! by Andy Cullen and Simon Rickerty. We think you'll also enjoy Don't Wake Mr Bear! by Jill Newton.

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Buy Crash Bang Donkey! by Jill Newton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Crash Bang Donkey! by Jill Newton at


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