Friday, 20 January 2017

Rabbit & Bear Rabbit's Bad Habits, written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field, reviewed by Pippa Goodhart

This is a beautifully produced chunky little book of the kind that comes between picture books and chapter books.  It has big clear writing, but would probably need to be read out loud to most children of, say, four to seven sort of age.  As with the all the best of these kinds of stories, this one revolves very much around character.  Two main characters.  Bear and Rabbit.

Bear is a delightfully modest, innocent, kind and simple soul.  And, hooray, she's female!  What is the ratio of female to male bears in children's fiction, I wonder?  Heavily more male, I'd say.  But this is an exception.  And Rabbit?  He's very different from Bear.  Grumpy, knowledgeable, and with an unkind streak that needs a kind bear to charm out of him.

Oh, and there's a baddie.  Look at this for an enjoyably mean wolf that needs a comeuppance!

And this for part two of that very comeuppance!  

The humour in this story is of the sort that small child will find particularly hilarious.  The eating of poos (by a rabbit, and rabbits do do that) is discussed in some depth.  But there is a deeper layer to this story too. Dear Bear decides that Rabbit is a friend because Rabbit gave him something ... even though that 'something' was a rotten black carrot.  And she's proven to be right about that.  
Writing, illustration, and design are all a joy in this action-packed little story.  Recommended.



Penny Dolan said...

This looks a brilliant book for a storytime, one that ha slots of laughs attached - and I'm intrigued by the use of rabbit poo as a possible plot point.

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