A passel of roly-poly bunnies eludes the ravenous clutches of a sly fox. A group of six rabbit siblings frolic in the fields, unaware of the danger lurking nearby. Williams's (Let's Go Visiting
, 1998, etc.) jaunty rhyming couplets set the scene, describing the bunnies at play and their predator's location. Each idyllic scenario is followed by the recurring refrain: "Run, fat rabbits! Run, run, run! / That fox wants to eat you, one by one!" With every leap, the feisty fox cries "Dinnertime!" From a group of six down to one sole bunny, the rabbits continue to merrily play, seemingly unaware of their dwindling numbers. Woven throughout the tale is the suspicion that the fox has consumed the missing bunnies, giving the story a Grimm Brothers feel and thrill. However, the remaining bunny's flight down the hole reveals the entire family safely ensconced within their home. Argent's (Nighty Night!
, 2001, etc.) watercolor illustrations are both humorous and a bit hair-raising. Following the hapless bunnies is a collection of sheep, geese, and mice, which form a comical Greek chorus, crying out the warning to the youngsters. Argent cleverly reduces their numbers along with the rabbits for the edification of observant readers. With snapping jaws and sudden pounces, her depiction of the fox wavers on the edge of being frightening. However, while younger readers may be slightly alarmed, older preschoolers will enjoy the gasps and starts of this rousing tale. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >