Cute-as-a-button Wilbur Bunny asks readers to join him in counting the 99 members of his exceptionally extended family, who have gathered to celebrate the arrival of Bunny No. 100: Wilbur's new sister, Sweet Petunia (her introduction makes for the book's not-so-surprising ending). To make the task of a major rabbit enumeration less daunting, Szekeres (I Love My Busy Book) has wisely broken down the imposing sum into manageable groups of relatives: e.g., five aunts, five great-aunts and, toward the conclusion, 26 teenage cousins, ""one for every letter of the alphabet."" The text builds momentum by announcing the subsets of guests (""The aunties arrive in their party clothes! Don't they look pretty?""), then ticking off individuals by name (""Auntie Peggy, Auntie Polly, Auntie Pasto, Auntie Lou, and Auntie Prunella!"") and keeping track of the total so far (""Count 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 bunnies""). Szekeres takes full advantage of this paper-over-board book's oversize format, filling the double-page spreads with 100 sweetly comic characters plus a few well-chosen diversions (like tiny frogs playing leapfrog). Preschoolers should also get a giggle out of the parade of bunny names, which include Nelly Smelly Rose, twins Pokey Nose and Nosey Blows, and Bump-a-long Billie. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1999 Release date: 02/01/1999 Genre: Children's
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