cover image The Best Place in the World

The Best Place in the World

Petr Horác˘ek. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1285-3

Hare surveys his animal friends one by one to ask if they think the meadow where they all live is the best place in the world. When they say yes—“It’s the place where we run and play together,” the rabbits explain—Hare reflects that the meadow isn’t necessarily unique: “But surely we can run anywhere.” The sequence repeats as Hare asks Bear, a group of little birds, and others. Hare ventures into the world, finding beauty he feels his friends would love, then discovers, at last, what really makes a place worthwhile. Existential Hare’s sweet character engages readers from the get-go: he sits and looks out at the world with his big feet splayed out in front of him, and his ears stream behind him when he runs. Collage, scribbly lines, and splashes of paint bring a wealth of texture and color to the spreads. Though the sentiments are predictable, the absence of conflict and the warmth shared by Horác˘ek’s (The Last Tiger) animal gang offer a bright, upbeat affirmation of all that community offers. Ages 3–7. [em](Feb.) [/em]