Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bunny book reviews

Little White Rabbit
January 2011

Here is a lovely addition to the collection of simple, toddler books by Henkes. The colored pencil and acrylic paint illustrations use soft pastel tones and bold green lines, much like the style of Old Bear, A Good Day and My Garden. The end papers are decorated with what look like paintings of willow leaves. The eponymous hero of the story hops along, wondering about all the things that he sees. The story alternates between a page with a sentence or two of text paired with a picture of Little White Rabbit in his natural habitat, and wordless double-page spreads where we see the results of his imaginings. I loved the spread of Little White Rabbit imagining being a rock. Split in four-parts we see the bunny (now a cozy little statue) sitting perfectly still in sun, rain, during sunset and at night. I also appreciated that when we see Little White Rabbit imagining he can fly, he doesn't grow wings, instead, he gains lift-off by frantically flapping his ears and wiggling his tail, amidst a sky of butterflies. Large, easy to see illustrations make this book a natural for storytime, but the nature of all the things that Little White Rabbit imagines would also make this book great for sparking one-on-one conversations with preschoolers.

April 2011

This story starts and ends with a gently-told message about acceptance, and appreciating the special gifts of each individual. The first hint that things are about to get a bit strange is when "nibbling, poking and playing, the baby bunnies grow into little bunnies. One baby bunny... grows and grows and GROWS!" The accompanying illustration of the quickly growing brown baby bunny ringed by psychedelic flowers manages to convey mild alarm, even with tiny dots for eyes, and no mouths à la Joan Walsh Anglund. While the little bunnies love using Big Bunny as a playground to climb on, and she loves taking them on long countryside hops, Big Bunny is dismayed that as they train for their Easter bunny duties, painting eggs and making baskets, her size is not an asset. After she runs away, the other bunnies "give the signal to form a Bunny Circle. Their ears touch and noses twitch, and they know what to do." Here we are treated to an illustration of the bunnies, standing Stonehenge-like in serious contemplation. They form a search party for Big Bunny, and when she's found, weave the biggest basket ever, for her to carry them on her back, facilitating their worldwide Easter egg drop-off. This is certainly the most unusual version of an Easter bunny story I have ever heard, but I have no doubt that kids will enjoy it.

I purchased these books.


  1. Just bought Little White Rabbit as a gift for my nephew and he likes it a lot. Thanks to this blog's help. :3



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