Bouncer the bunny is a picky eater who knows what she likes in the latest entry in the Pick Me Up! series.
Five somewhat confused-looking bunnies star in a light entertainment for toddlers that might have been subtitled, “Quest for Carrots.” Like the other Pick Me Up! books, this volume’s pages are die cut to resemble a pet carrier, with a handle at the top and the hungry protagonist peering through a window. If the handle promotes extra handling and reading by kids, that is all to the good. The plot is simple: Bouncer is hungry, but, when offered hay, sprouts, and spinach by her rabbit friends, she turns up her nose, holding out for carrots. Fortunately for Bouncer, the whole affair ends in a picnic lunch complete with an enormous, crunchy carrot. Artist Hare (yes, Hare) creates collages combining stock photos, swatches of color, and simple graphics. The rabbits’ expressions don’t vary much, although one startling close-up of Bouncer bears a passing resemblance to internet sensation Grumpy Cat. The primary text is rhymed across two-page spreads, with awkward meter and inconsistent syllable counts from line to line and couplet to couplet. Bunny dialogue appears in word balloons; there are chewing sound effects as well. Therefore, the first reading feels a bit clumsy; caregivers may find that reading narrative, then dialogue, then sound effects works best.
Bouncer’s story is busy and slightly confusing, but it’s pleasant enough. (Board book. 18 mos.-4)