Pip has many phobias, but when he faces one he overcomes all in this acceptable tale about surmounting one’s fears.
A very little rabbit, Pip has a long list of fears. Even the most ordinary of things—rainfall, bubbles, tree stumps—debilitate the fretful bunny. Trying to escape his terrors, he falls asleep in the garden and awakes at suppertime, only to hear a frightful “Raar.” The dreadful noise follows him into the forest, until he’s thoroughly spooked. But when Pip realizes his stomach is making the “Rarrr” and that he is the scariest of things, he’s empowered. Former fears are dismissed as the rabbit hops home for dinner, and in a twist of events, the creepy creatures of Pip’s world (which are real and not imagined), now tremble at the thought of him. While the author works hard to hit all the right points, the text’s humor is labored, and Pip’s complete change of heart feels contrived. The watercolor-and-pen illustrations are cleanly done in a pastel palette. Much like the text, it is methodically applied, but not masterfully executed.
Adequate, but this book is but one on a crowded overcoming-fears shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)