cover image Rabbit Pirates: A Tale of the Spinach Main

Rabbit Pirates: A Tale of the Spinach Main

Judy Cox. Harcourt Children's Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-201832-0

After trading swords for salads, two retired rabbit pirates enjoy a tr s bonne life in Provence in this evocative and playful picture book. Monsieur Lapin and Monsieur Blanc often reminisce about their youthful days of swashbuckling, though the two rabbits are now much more content serving delicious greens and crusty homemade bread to the patrons of their restaurant, the Spinach Main. But when wily Monsieur Reynard, a fox, arrives for lunch one day, he inadvertently lets on that he finds the chefs themselves more appetizing than anything on the menu. Luckily, Monsieur Lapin and Monsieur Blanc have a recipe in their repertoire sure to cure the fox of his taste for a bunny buffet. Cox's (Third Grade Pet) droll delivery and well-chosen details immediately transport readers to sunny southern France. Her furry protagonists have the kind of friendship and intriguing shared history that suggest many stories to come. In dappled watercolor compositions, McCully (Mouse Practice; Mirette on the High Wire) bathes her rustic village structures and cozy interiors in warm sunshine, while scenes played out in shadowy moonlight lend just the right touch of suspense to the proceedings. A wonderful mix of humor, food and friendship, with just the right touch of je ne sais quoi. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)