Rosemary Wells, . . Hyperion, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0396-5
Wells's devoted fans will clamor for her latest title, starring her beloved bunnies in soft, pastel watercolors. This time she trades in her usual prose for poetry—perfectly paced for short attention spans. Each of the three poems is aimed at toddlers learning to assert themselves. In "Carry Me!," Wells sets familiar scenes to the tune of melodious verse ("Carry me up the stairs and down./ Hold me while you get dressed for town"). The illustrations convey the perspective of a young child with an overactive imagination, as Wells pictures the extraordinary in mundane objects (the mother's dressing table as she puts on lipstick; a stuffed toy propped against a backyard tree), and readers will feel as if they can stroke the characters' fur, so carefully is each watercolor brushstroke applied. In "Talk to Me!," a butterfly entering a child's room is cause for utter fascination. At the same time, Wells masterfully balances excitement with calming moments ("Open the window to hear the train./ Close the window against the rain"). Her last poem may well inspire youngsters to follow its directive ("Sing to Me!"), as it celebrates the four seasons via song and dance—and a dash of whimsical surprise ("The old song we know/ About the Wild Winter Wizard/ With his beard full of blizzard"). Ages 6 mos.-4 yrs.
Reviewed on: 11/14/2005