cover image Little Bunny Bobkin

Little Bunny Bobkin

James Riordan. Little Tiger Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-888444-38-4

The eponymous hero is crazy for counting, but no one seems interested in helping satisfy his itch for numeracy. When he tries to count ducklings, for example, Mother Duck scolds him (""Stop bothering my babies!"") and shoos him away. He wanders into the forest, only to find himself counting the eyes of a family of hungry foxes. Thinking fast, he engages Mother Fox in a counting game and escapes to safety. While the lesson--that math really does come in handy--is worthy enough, there's not a lot of narrative or visual drive behind it, even when Bunny Bobkin finds himself in desperate straits. The British author's prose is workmanlike, his dialogue and descriptions seldom rising above the conventional: ""Through the burrow hole he could see a patch of dark blue sky with twinkling stars and a crescent moon."" Warnes's (Counting Leopard's Spots) work, too, is competent but undistinguished; while the scenes inside the foxes' den have a nice soup on of menace, his characterizations and compositions lack variety. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)