cover image BUNNY TAILS


Barbara Brenner, William H. Hooks, Betty Boegehold, , illus. by Lynn Munsinger. . Milk &Cookies, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-03925-6

Sibling dynamics hop to the fore in this playful two-part tale. Co-authors Brenner (Wagon Wheels ), Hooks (The Legend of the Christmas Rose ) and Boegehold (the Pippa Mouse series) present six brown bunnies who live with Mama Rabbit in Carrotville. Munsinger (What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best ) depicts their home as a cozy, multi-roomed warren with a pillow-filled nook known as the "snuggery." In the first story, the bunnies cooperate to come up with dinner while their mother is out. Rhoda watches all her brothers and sisters contribute to a "Group Soup." She is generous with complaints but not help (" 'It's beginning to smell like soup.' said Ricky. 'Yes, but is it soup? I can't eat the smell,' snapped Rhoda"), until a change of heart at the conclusion. A second tale emerges, rather abruptly, with a turn of the page, when salesbunny Ribbon Rabbit arrives at Carrotville, peddling his wares. Sibling jealously ensues (temporarily resolved with a somewhat didactic lesson about alphabetical order), and Margaret Rose runs away after taking her sister's coveted rainbow ribbon. While the ending of the latter tale may be a bit contrived for some readers, all will delight in Munsinger's lively, colorful illustrations. Half-page paintings and vignettes break up the text and provide additional humor (e.g., Margaret Rose's not-too-subtle styling when she ties up her expressive ears in an oversize bow). Siblings will identify with the feelings in this upbeat, if slightly moralizing read. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)