The Terrible Plop

Ursula Dubosarsky, Author, Andrew Joyner, Illustrator , illus. by Andrew Joyner. FSG $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-37428-0

When they hear a terrifying “PLOP!” six little rabbits that have been peacefully munching chocolate cake and carrots by the lake end up initiating animal mass hysteria à la Henny Penny. Newcomer Joyner's cartoonish illustrations are full of melodramatic action as the entire forest of panicked animals runs from a foe they've never seen. Dubosarsky's (Rex ) reworking of a Tibetan story is full of sure-footed rhythm and rhymes that repeat words without becoming stale (“They do not stay./ They do not stop./ They run run run/ From the Terrible PLOP”). Even the biggest bear in the forest is eventually fooled—only the reader and “the littlest rabbit/ with the littlest hop” discover that the ominous sound is nothing but an apple falling from an overhanging tree into the lake. This talented Australian duo builds the suspense to just the right pitch, skillfully focusing the story on the smallest rabbit. Despite its fears, the rabbit ends up enjoying some more cake by the shore as it concludes that “All this running/ Should really stop.../ Who's afraid/ Of a silly old PLOP?” Ages 3–6. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/20/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-4052-5136-5
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!