cover image Blue Rabbit and Friends

Blue Rabbit and Friends

Christopher Wormell. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2499-0

Wormell's (An Alphabet of Animals) familiar chunky lino block prints grace this diverting tale of a quartet of animals in search of home sweet home. Blue Rabbit emerges from his cave one day, decides he doesn't really like it (""too large and the forest was too dark"") and sets out to seek more congenial quarters. Along the way, he meets Bear in a pool, a goose named Rover who lives in a dog house and Dog, who lives in a hole in the side of a hill. None of them is satisfied with his living situation (""It's too dry and stuffy for me, and it smells like old bones,"" says the goose), and of course Blue Rabbit gets the bright idea to trade. The reshuffling places each in his appropriate spot--while the hero decides that he wants adventure and takes off on his bicycle to ""see the world."" With its pared-down cast of characters and classic story line capped with a fresh twist, Wormell's tale is perfectly suited to preschoolers. Their sharp eyes may well detect that the setting holds a few surprises as well--blocks form Blue Rabbit's ""cave,"" for instance, and Dog's ""hill"" looks suspiciously like a rumpled blanket. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)