cover image Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand

Rosemary Wells. Holt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-434-3

This is Wells’s version of a parenting manual, expressed as a string of entreaties from a small bunny to its mother, beginning at birth. “Be my teacher from day one,” Wells writes, as the baby bunny looks directly at readers with bright, beseeching eyes. “Be my sky, my moon, my sun.” The bunny and its calm, attentive mother share milestones as it grows—moments of caring and cuddling, and newfound competencies such as riding a bike. “Kindness is our daily bread;/ gentle words, our feather bed,” writes Wells, as the intimate mother-child focus broadens to highlight tender interactions with a third rabbit who could represent a friend or sibling. By story’s end, the mother’s job is done: her bunny is literally launched into the world, a confident sailor on life’s waves. Wells includes visual nods to Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the pointillists, and Rousseau’s jungle scenes, but this book is really about one thing alone: the idea that being a parent is the most important, wonderful job in the world. Ages 2–6. [em]Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.) [/em]