cover image Silly Tails

Silly Tails

Jan Mark. Atheneum Books, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31843-6

Humor with a British accent distinguishes Mark's ( Trouble Halfway ; Handles ) latest yarn, which drolly explains rabbits' predatory approach to carrots. According to the narrator, vegetables possess the power of speech--they've just been intimidated into silence. It seems a garden of loquacious produce and a ``colony of peaceable rabbits'' (in modest pilgrim garb) were once separated only by a hedge. The rabbits chewed grass and pointedly ignored their leafy neighbors until one day when a cocky group of carrots began maligning their ears, eyes and tails. The carrots' luck held until they mocked the rabbits' teeth, at which point the indignant long-ears taught their veggie hecklers the meaning of ``herbivore.'' Ross's ( Mrs. Goat and Her Seven Little Kids ; Reckless Ruby ) high-energy, slyly detailed woodland scenes feature spindly-legged carrots, dignified rabbits and vivid hues that turn blustery as tempers flare; a hilarious singing pumpkin-patch provides a fitting coda. Readers with a taste for wry wit should have no trouble digesting this tall tale of comeuppance. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)