Chris Wedge, Author . Ipicturebooks $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59019-479-9

Writer/director Wedge's Oscar-winning animated short film about a widowed rabbit's last moments smoothly translates to print via this picture-book adaptation. Bunny, a bulging-eyed, puppet-like character clad in apron and spectacles, interacts with real dishes and utensils in a cozily appointed home. On a summer's eve, as Bunny bustles in the kitchen mixing up the ingredients for a cake, she hears a noise. A pesky moth has flown into her beloved wedding photo. After Bunny puts it outside, the moth swoops back in. Bunny, now angered, hits the moth with her spoon and mixes it into the cake batter. While the cake bakes and Bunny dozes, "suddenly the stove started to glow. The dishes began to rattle." Drawn to the bright light, Bunny flies off with the moth "into a world of stars and light.... And Bunny joined her husband." Straightforward sentences matched with scenes from the darkly lit film create a Hollywood storyboard effect. The transitions between Bunny's and the moth's points of view move fluidly, and the metaphorical passage to "the other side" is handled creatively, so that youngsters can interpret the ending at whatever level they can handle. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

FYI:A bonus DVD of Bunny is packaged with the book. Wedge's work can currently be seen in the computer-animated feature film Ice Age, which he directed.

Reviewed on: 03/25/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
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