Friday, April 17, 2009

Three Bunny Tails. . .

I do have a weakness for children's books featuring rabbits, having had two adorable bunnies - Juliet and Clover - as childhood pets. But Moon Rabbit, written and illustrated by Natalie Russell is a bunny book that speaks perfectly to my inner adult.

Little Rabbit - always accompanied by her oh-so-chic pink carrot purse - loves living in the big city that has all the cafes, bookstores and ice cream parlours she could ask for. There's always so much to do. But one day when she goes to the park to read a book, she falls asleep under a tree and doesn't wake up until it's dark and the moon is out. Hearing music in the distance, she discovers Brown Rabbit playing on his guitar. He leads her further into the park and introduces her to all the fun of communing with nature. But when Little Rabbit sees the city glowing at night in the distance, she misses her old life, and as much as she's enjoyed the company of Brown Rabbit, she decides to go home. Brown Rabbit doesn't understand how she could prefer the city to a beautiful moonlit park. It all ends happily though, because new friends can always come to visit.

I love the beautiful colour combinations used throughout the illustrations, and the simple but expressive rabbit faces. And if this isn't an allegory (though with a better ending) for every darn long-distance relationship I've ever had, I don't know what is.

For a different kind of leporine adventure, I got a lot of laughs out of Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie's Missing Brain by Scott Nash, in which a smart stuffed rabbit with a penchant for crossword puzzles, has to enlist the help of the other inhabitants of Los Attic to find the missing stuffing from Duckie's brain. He solves the case and gets his crossword clue as well. Lots of silly puns from this fun bun.

And you are in for a treat in August, when Big Bad Bun is published. It's written by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, the hilarious team behind one of my favourite children's books of all time - Tadpole's Promise . In their new book, a young rabbit leaves a note for his parents informing them that he's run away to join a gang and will thus be getting into all sorts of trouble as he aspires to be the baddest bun around. No need to twitch though - he's really at Grandma's, running away from a bad report card and wanting to let his parents know that really, things could be so much worse. . .
I'll be getting a copy for my mother.

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