Well, this is one of those moments where I never expected teaching English to be so fun!
My knowledge and experience in writing had been limited more to alliteration, apt vocabulary and the use of punctuation. But now there are actually things like Assonance (the clever repeated use of vowels) – see the entries from American Rhetoric and Literary Devices.
I now realise that there is a formalised term for words that imitate or replicate sounds. They are called Onomatopoeia. And yes, I agree with the Literary Device piece that it pulls the reader right into the scene of the passage!