cover image Parcel for Stanley

Parcel for Stanley

Ian Whybrow. Levinson Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-899607-53-2

There is more to the unprepossessing rabbit Stanley than meets the eye in this cheerful, if rather flimsy, story. Unlike Stanley, his friends are constantly busy: ""The cat was always climbing trees,/ the duck swam round and round;/ the cow drove the fire engine/ and made the bee-bah sound."" But when the queen comes for tea, it is Stanley who impresses with his magic tricks. Narratively, Whybrow (A Baby for Grace) isn't pulling any rabbits out of hats: as soon as Stanley receives a top hat, wand and book in the mail, the readers can see what's ahead. Hobson's (Another Fine Mess) playful paintings set the cartoon animals against a bright, simple landscape of curvy green hills and trees round as lollipops. In a clever touch, the ""queen"" is a little girl who looks to be playing dress-up ""in her sparkly crown and shoes."" But despite such winsome elements, the book holds few surprises. Ages 5-8. (Dec.)