Lion vs. Rabbit

Alex Latimer. Peachtree, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-709-0
From “The Tortoise and the Hare” to Shark vs. Train, adversarial showdowns are a sure bet for stories in which an ego-check is in order. Latimer (Penguin’s Hidden Talent) seems to know this well, and he combines a cast of savanna animals, a slew of modern competitions, and plenty of visual and verbal humor in this story about a bullying lion. With a roundish body and tiny claws, Lion looks more teddy bear than king of the jungle, but that doesn’t stop him from tormenting other animals, whether he’s sticking a “silly note” on Zebra’s back (it reads “I am a horse”) or stealing Hyena’s “lunch monkey.” Too timid to confront Lion, the animals place an online ad for a rescuer. A bear, moose, and tiger are no match for Lion, but a small brown rabbit has what it takes, besting Lion in artistic, intellectual, and athletic feats. Latimer’s digitally colored pencil cartoons are full of funny details (a TV color test appears in Lion’s thought bubble during a trivia challenge), and while he lets readers in on Rabbit’s secret to success, Lion simply gets a satisfying, fable-worthy comeuppance. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-56145-709-0
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-0-606-40614-7
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