Big Bunny

Rowboat Watkins. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6390-1
In this inventive, clever outing, Watkins (Rude Cakes) ponders what’s scary and how much context matters. We hear—but don’t see— what seems to be a parent and child bickering over the fright quotient of a bedtime story involving a big bunny—or, as the child prefers, “a ginormously SCARY bunny.” The parent tries to pull the story back from the brink by insisting that the rabbit wants to eat carrots and carrots only, but the young reader pushes for something more terrifying. “Big Bunny ate ten carrots in one! bite!”’ proclaims the parent, trying to drum up drama. “Not scary,” retorts the child. The parent finally capitulates (“Fine... you tell it”), and the bunny becomes a giant omnivore, devouring a bridge, trucks, and an entire cityscape. Who could possibly find such a ravenously monstrous bunny scary? A page turn provides the answer: the parent and child are lettuce. As the story descends into a child’s version of Grand Guignol, Watkins’s pictures exude the giddiness of an imagination unleashed. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/26/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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