"We thwacked and we whacked and we walloped away..." lilts the Seussian verse of this exuberant, peace-promoting picture book. When a brother and sister start fighting over croquet one day, it seems as though they'll never stop. Then their little sister happens by and offers them soda pop if they'll make up. Since they're thirsty and tired, this sounds like a pretty good idea. And just like that, the fight is over. Later, when new neighbors begin to make a huge racket with all their musical instruments, the family is all set for another fight. But the noisy neighbors invite the family to join in, and soon the biggest, loudest, most joyful parade ever is underway. More and more people join the procession; suddenly enemies become friends, complainers turn into campaigners, and dogs and cats march paw in paw. Eventually the whole world is united in this giant parade of peace and friendship. And to think that they thought they would never be friends!
Kevin Hawkes's jubilant illustrations fill every page with rich color and wild commotion. Grannies with towering beehive hairdos prance with bagpipe-brandishing boys in Mohawks; babies burst out of tubas, blasting English horns; one pajama'd papa floats ethereally by, tooting his trumpet. The message is plain: make music, not war. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter [via]