In the easy-reader format, a hedgehog and a rabbit, Buckley and Wilberta (Buckley and Wilberta, 1995), stick by each other through difficulties large and small. Slaughter divides this I'm Reading Now! entry into five short stories. In the first, Wilberta has cabin fever and crabbily finds fault with everything Buckley does. Deciding to venture outdoors into the snow cheers both of them, but first Buckley has to climb out the window and roll down the bank, effectively shoveling them out. Then the two cooperate on building a snow rabbit. Later, Wilberta helps Bucktey with his fear of thunder, and Buckley bravely ventures out into a thunderstorm to rescue Wilberta from a flood. These last two stories are the most effective, building well on what readers know about the characters: Buckley's willingness to brave the storm in spite of his fears is a testament to his feelings for Wilberta. The path-clearing sequence is a little confusing; the camaraderie in the snow rabbit story comes without any tension. Torrence's alternately black-and-white and full-color illustrations are homey and gently humorous in a benign book that gives beginning readers a chance to sharpen their emerging skills.
Pub Date: June 15, 1998
Page Count: 64
Publisher: "Red Hen (P.O. Box 454, Big Sur, CA 93920)"