Who can make Mama Rabbit feel better?
Mama Rabbit’s 10 little ones are worried when she feels too poorly to get out of bed. She assures them that their Papa has gone to fetch medicine, but these caring bunnies don’t wait idly by for their father’s return; instead, in a narrative that feels akin to DuBose Heyward and Marjorie Flack’s Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes (1939), each little kit offers Mama a gift to help her recover as she rests. By the time Papa comes back with the medicine, Mama doesn’t need it, since her children’s efforts have worked to make her feel better. Then the 10 little rabbits put on a show for their parents, complete with top hats and carrots. While the story is a bit slim, the conceit of a role reversal that finds children caring for a parent feels fresh, and Lobel’s soft style and Easter-egg palette of gouache and watercolors create a gentle and inviting lapine world. As always with Lobel, the treats are in the details. One by one, each little bunny finds something to comfort Mama with (a handkerchief, an apple) in a medallion at the top of the page and below bestows it, in a larger, rectangular illustration. Sharp-eyed children will notice that the bags under Mama’s eyes smooth out and she sits up straighter with each gift.
A sweet little family tale. (Picture book. 2-5)