cover image Rabbit's Wooly Sweater

Rabbit's Wooly Sweater

Mark Birchall. Carolrhoda Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-57505-465-0

British illustrator Birchall (The Wrong Overcoat) offers a cheerful tale of a young rabbit and her constant companion, a stuffed blue bunny named Mr. Cuddles. When Aunty Ethel knits Rabbit a pink, striped sweater, Rabbit wants to know where Mr. Cuddle's sweater is: ""He wants one just like mine,"" she announces. Disappointed that there is no second sweater, she carelessly throws the new garment on the ground while she plays outside. After the sweater takes a spin in the washing machine, it shrinks to a size that fits Mr. Cuddles perfectly, which makes Rabbit change her mind and comment, ""Hmmm.... I want one too."" Birchall's brightly hued cartoons provide sharp-eyed readers with clues that will help them predict the tale's conclusion. His ambiguous depictions of Mr. Cuddles let audiences decide whether to see him as a toy or through Rabbit's eyes, as an independent character. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)