Quentin Blake, author and illustrator
London: Jonathon Cape, 1990
Age: 2 and up
Interests: poetry, music, songs, noise
A great pot-banging, horn-blowing, shouting, ruckus of a good time. The seven rhymes are a celebration of joyful noise and exuberant behaviour of the most disruptive kind. (Not a bedtime book.) The best part is that it invites everyone to join in with the noisy refrains. I also like the blurring of the line between Music (played by instruments) and Noise (including horns and wailing tantrums).
There is another lesson in the hoopla that parents will appreciate. In the first version of “All Join In”, everyone joins in with the noise-making, but in the final reprise the gang joins in with other cooperative ventures: cleaning up, chasing mice, painting the house, catching Granny when she faints, and, of course, eating an enormous chocolate fudge banana cake!
The illustrations perfectly complement the anarchy of the rhymes; fantastic, blissful chaos. Age 2 will enjoy the rhythms and older children will enjoy the lawlessness, but
… the very best of all is when we ALL JOIN IN!
Infectious and fun for everyone.