Ready Rabbit Gets Ready!

Brenna Maloney, photos by Chuck Kennedy. Viking, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-01549-8

Maloney (Socks Appeal) brings her background with stuffed sock creations to children’s books, introducing Ready Rabbit, a lollygagging school-age bunny sewn out of a striped sock, with inked facial expressions that leap from fiendish pleasure to chagrin and back again. Kennedy photographs him amid miniature toys and furniture, while crisp white backgrounds point up the chaos Ready Rabbit leaves in his wake. It’s a school morning, and reality is calling (“Ready Rabbit! You’d better pick up your toys and get ready!”), but Ready Rabbit has other ideas. Many other ideas. It’s easy to tell what kind of rabbit he is: “He knows he needs to get ready, but first he needs to build a spaceship.” The Lego spaceship that Ready Rabbit builds, the backhoe he drives, the costumes he tries on, and the discovery he makes (“Rabbits don’t wear clothes!”) keep the laughter coming and the story hurtling along. (Don’t ask about the toothpaste mess.) When Ready Rabbit finally makes it onto the school bus, readers will wish they could follow him to school. Perhaps Maloney will oblige. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)