cover image Bunny's Lessons

Bunny's Lessons

Harriet Ziefert, illus. by Barroux, Blue Apple (Chronicle, dist.), $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-60905-028-3

"He's Charlie. I'm his bunny," explains the tentative speaker of this smart and sweet story that provides a very clear picture of common toddler emotions, experiences, and demands. Bunny, who wears a coral-orange shirt that matches Charlie's hair and has ears the shades of Neapolitan ice cream, learns everything he knows from his caretaker—for better and worse. "When we play doctor, Charlie is the boss. I learn about OUCH!" Bunny learns about "pretend" when Charlie plays the father and Bunny is the baby, and when Charlie's mother sends him to his room, Bunny learns the meaning of "time-out" as Charlie finds authority where he can. And although Bunny learns how it feels to be alone or jealous when Charlie is less attentive, a warm hug teaches Bunny about love. Barroux's paintings pair bold colors with shadowy, matte tones and wobbly line drawings, as if to emphasize the gamut of Bunny and Charlie's moods. Bunny's perspective honestly conveys a relationship's give-and-take, while underscoring the feelings of vulnerability that can arise from being dependent upon a loving guardian's care. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)