cover image Bellas Secret Garden P Ov B

Bellas Secret Garden P Ov B

Anne Carter. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $5.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-517-56308-3

A quiet story about the youngest rabbit in the warren, who doesn't remember the meadow that existed where gardens and houses now stand. She often sneaks into those gardens for a meal. But one day Bella is captured, first by a cat and then by a boy, and for the first time, she feels afraid. The boy puts her in a basket on his bike and carries her far away, to a fresh green meadow. And so she is safe. The tension here is an inner onethere really is nothing to fear but fear itself for this rabbit. Butler's paintings elevate this beyond the ordinary, though, so lifelike that they are almost like photographs. His use of sunlight and shadows gives a realism to this story that is ephemeral and stunning. (3-6)