I have seen this book being called an instant classic and I have to say that it certainly became one in our household.
The story is a delight: the mechanical disasters that befell the family are not of a small calibre. This brings a strong surreal quality to the otherwise simple plot; while the participation of all the members of the family in fixing the problems gives the story a joyful, child-centered and democratic slant. In fact, it is the Baby who fixes the most difficult problem of all, one that has the older children and Dad giving up the hope of ever getting to the lake. It is thus a bit of a hymn to the children's creative ingenuity.
But the best thing about the book is not the story. Try reading it out aloud. The verse is in my opinion excellent, with a rhythm that makes it a delight to read aloud, fun to listen to and resulted in my daughter learning chunks of it by heart even though generally she doesn't remember poems.
The greatest achievement is, however, the word creativity resulting in an amazing collection of onomatopoeias - gathered, newly created and re-formed.
The artwork is very dynamic and the onomatopoeic parts of the text are sometimes part of the artwork rather than being typeset in standard font. This makes them even more expressive and adds a strong a comic-like quality which enriches the book.
The purely linguistic pleasure derived from reading this book aloud means it is the only one I sometimes agree (grudgingly, as not to create a precedent) to read twice in a row. I have not yet got bored with it either, part of the attraction being that it is rather short, the total reading time does not exceed five minutes.
It would be suitable from relatively early age as it is not text-heavy, and the onomatopoeias will delight even a very small toddler if you give them enough oomph and expression while reading. My personal enthusiasm suggests perhaps that the upper age limit might be quite high, but realistically it is a toddler book and I would not buy it for anybody over 3 years old for the fear of offending with a 'baby book'. How long it will stay read and recited and acted out is another story.