cover image Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food!

Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food!

Bob Shea. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6807-2

The star of Shea’s Dinosaur vs. books may dominate his foes, but not so with shaggy, orange-striped, and ill-tempered Buddy the monster, who tries and fails to eat a passel of cute, white bunnies. “No, please, no! We were about to make cupcakes!” three bunnies wail, stopping him in his tracks. “They played hide-and-seek while the cupcakes baked,” and Buddy fills up on treats. He returns the next day, and five bunnies propose that they go swimming. “If you bunnies are half as delicious as you are nice, I am in for a treat,” Buddy admits. The next day, seven bunnies take him to the carnival (sticking to “spinny, whippy rides” that give Buddy an upset stomach), and the next, eleven admonish him with the book’s sideways title. With recent longer comedies like this one and Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, Shea’s digital art and one-joke narratives have blossomed. While this romp predictably favors the underdogs, Shea’s energized colors, subtle background textures, and manic visuals keep the eye moving, while the shouty dialogue, hapless monster, and sneaky rabbits amplify the silly suspense. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)