cover image Ten Little Bunnies

Ten Little Bunnies

Nurit Karlin, Nurit Karin. Simon & Schuster, $14 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-88026-2

Operating on the misbegotten premise that little bunnies, especially in large numbers, are intrinsically lovable, Karlin and Wilhelm create a counting book that lands flat on its furry face. The tale begins with 10 plump, stuffed-animal-like rabbits; each wears or carries a distinguishing item, e.g., a necklace or skates. Individuals or not, nine of these rodents are thoroughly foolhardy, and as they heedlessly hop along, they vanish one by one. The first falls off a wall, another is carried off by a witch, yet another fatally interrupts a bear. The last bunny waves a wand and magically resurrects his nine friends. Clunky rhymes (``Three little bunnies went to the zoo. / Oh, what fun! There's the tiger--Run! Run! Run! /and then there were two'') describe vague yet alarming situations (victim No. 9 ostensibly eats buns until she pops). Wilhelm, meanwhile, renders the rabbits in shades of pink, baby blue, gray and even pale green, but paints his wooded backgrounds in muddy browns and greens. This combination proves no more felicitous than the decision to incorporate a cartoon voice-bubble into every spread. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)