Everyone, bunnies included, must learn to make money the old-fashioned way. By earning it.
McLeod’s vehicle is a sweetly ambitious bunny named Bun who is all energy and hot colors; reds, oranges, and yellows splash her cartoon look. “I want to be RICH and FAMOUS!” Bun yodels (“rich” meaning lots and lots of carrots in Bunnyland). “And how are you going to do that, my dear?” asks the mother bunny, who is busy digging a garden; in her grays and blacks, she has as much joie de vivre as a toil-worn Russian serf. Bun’s solution is to become a famous singer, but mother explains that fame and fortune don’t come overnight: they are the product of “practice, practice, practice.” Bun is impatient to reach the limelight and does a little math, realizing that working her way up the ladder will require investment of work and carrots to reach goals along the way. “Then, if you keep earning carrots, you can save enough to record a song that lots of bunnies will buy.” Readers may wonder why Bun doesn’t simply plant 40 hectares of carrots. The economics lesson sits uneasily next to the emphasis on achieving fame; the last page feels entirely arbitrary, with its return to math and the reminder that Moneybunnies know what “counts”: “love.”
The joy in hard work, above and beyond the gratification, feels absent in Bunnyland, which is a serious downer. (Picture book. 3-6)