cover image Timothy Tunny Swallowed a Bunny

Timothy Tunny Swallowed a Bunny

Bill Grossman. Laura Geringer Book, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028010-9

Grossman and Hawkes, the team behind My Little Sister Ate One Hare, serve up a collection of short verses about characters with silly names who meet equally silly fates, including the titular Timothy; Hannibal, who encounters a cannibal; and Harold B. Bound, whose eyeballs--well, never mind. Grossman's creations have the infectious jump-rope rhythm and tongue-in-cheek humor of classic nursery rhymes (""You're walking, old Ned/ With a horse on your head/ Why? That can't be much fun./ `I'm walking,' says Ned,/ `With my horse on my head/ Because I'm too tired to run' ""). Many of the poems trade on anomalies like multiple noses and ballooning waistlines for their laughs. ""Walter Lackwards/ Head on backwards/ Tripped on things he passed"" starts one; others star characters skinny enough to slide down drains, or flattened by passing trucks into Frisbee-sized discs. Hawkes's full-bleed acrylics playfully exploit these oddball characters. His illustrations, peopled with pop-eyed, slack-jawed innocents who never know what is going to hit them next, provide satisfying visual counterparts for Grossman's topsy-turvy world. Kevin T. Moses, the man with all the noses, stumbles in pinstripes through a field of tulips, reaching for his Kleenex; John Paul Mullers, the victim of a paint explosion, floats crazily inside a carved wooden frame on a museum wall, as two bespectacled visitors peer at him. The happy combination of wildly exaggerated illustrations and cracked humor make this a promising read-aloud choice. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)