cover image Rescue Bunnies

Rescue Bunnies

Doreen Cronin and Scott Menchin, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-112871-4

Newbie, the aptly named trainee of the tough-minded Rescue Bunnies, is eager to prove she has what it takes to become a full-fledged member. She gets her chance when a giraffe gets stuck in the mud in the middle of hyena country. There’s just one more thing Newbie needs to know: if the hyenas get too close, the bunnies call a Code Red. “Evacuation,” explains a crew member. “We leave, giraffe stays.” Will Newbie save the day—or just her own skin? Menchin’s crisp digital images initially feel too juvenile given the premise (the rabbits seem more mouselike than rabbity), and Cronin (who collaborated with Menchin on Wiggle, Bounce, and Stretch) relies on a surprising number of tired gags and movie quotes (everything from “You can’t handle the truth!” to “Here’s looking at you, kid”) to give the Rescue Bunnies a whiff of hard-boiled irreverence. But once the Rescue Bunnies get on the scene, and Newbie bonds with the stranded giraffe, the comic melodrama kicks into high gear. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)