The Backup Bunny

Abigail Rayner, illus. by Greg Stones. NorthSouth, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7358-4282-3
Fluffy is a “luxury stuffed rabbit” who spends his days inside a sock drawer. His job: “If Max ever loses his favorite stuffed rabbit, I step in to save the day.” But Max isn’t easily fooled; after Bunny goes missing, Max throws Fluffy to the floor with an unceremonious “splat!” (“That’s not Bunny!” the boy insists, not consoled in the least. “His ears don’t feel right!”) Fluffy does his best to salvage his pride and win over Max. Finally accepting failure, he helps reunite Max with Bunny, and his selfless commitment to Max has happy consequences—perhaps there’s room for both bunnies in Max’s heart. Fluffy directly addresses readers, and his frustration and sadness over being the second, oft-rejected choice will resonate with them—even if they won’t necessarily recognize themselves in fickle Max. Stones includes a lot of physical comedy at Fluffy’s expense in quiet but emotive cartoons; during one particularly humiliating sequence, Fluffy is locked in a grocery store freezer case, doused with green paint, and strung up from a clothesline by his ears. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 03/06/2018
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