cover image Bunny Should Be Sleeping

Bunny Should Be Sleeping

Amy Hest, illus. by Renata Liwska. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5341-2

On a winter night, Bunny’s awake in bed, his surroundings soft and cozy: “Bunny’s toes are warm. His blanket is soft, and the moon hovers over the pond.” He’s waiting for his father, who “will come in the night to check on his little Bunny.” The youth waits until he can’t any longer (“He just needs his dad!”), and Liwska (Winter: A Solstice Story) shows in tranquil digitally created spreads Bunny placing a thermos of water, a blanket and cookie, and the duo’s favorite book in a wagon and setting off for Dad’s room. There, he enjoys the blanket, cookie, and water himself before tapping Dad on the nose. “You forgot to check on me,” Bunny says. “So, here I am.” “Indeed,” Dad replies, before holding out his arms. “Sometimes a dad just needs his little bunny,” whispers Dad. “Indeed,” Bunny replies. Back in Bunny’s room, the two cuddle as they share the book. In yearning text, Hest (Sometimes It’s Nice to Be Alone) captures the way time can move slowly when someone’s on their own, the way an attentive presence can meet needs, and the sense that Bunny is learning to love well by mirroring Dad’s words and actions: “Dad checks on Bunny. Bunny checks on Dad.” Ages 4–8. (Mar.)