A rabbit appreciates friends and flowers in this children’s picture book.
As a little brown bunny sits in the grass by a garden, various birds ask what he’s doing. In every case, he answers with a formulaic phrase containing the name of a particular flower. For example, he tells a goldfinch, “I am eating this delicious green grass and looking at the purple petunias.” The flowers are quite varied, and each bird engages in a typical activity, such as singing sweet bird song (the chickadee) or flying from blossom to blossom (the hummingbird), with matching illustrations. After seven such encounters, the bunny raises his head to the blue sky and says, “I thank you, God, for the birds, the flowers, and my animal friends.” In her debut, Barbara Mancine tells a simple story, full of the repetition that small children love. Many other picture books teach colors, but this one goes further than most to supply the names and appearances of common blooms and avian friends. It’s a good read-aloud choice that allows listeners to anticipate the bunny’s answers. Amie Mancine’s realistic, well-composed, and attractive debut illustrations are charming and, of course, colorful. The religious message is subtle and nondenominational, allowing for a fairly wide audience.
A simple but effective teaching tool that may help spark youngsters’ love of nature.