Rabbit sisters quibble over the utility of compassion.
The question of taxonomy is at the heart of this picture book. Clad in cape and leotard, Superbuns (nee Buns) is compelled to perform random acts of kindness, and she seems convinced that her “listening ears,” “huge heart,” and “big caring eyes” count as superpowers. Her know-it-all big sister, Blossom, a bespectacled cynic, is familiar with more-traditional abilities such as strength and speed, arguing that “Kind is kind, but it’s not a superpower!” The climax results from another disagreement of category when, en route to Grammy’s, Superbuns holds the door for a young fox, saying, “I noticed that you’ve been following us all day.” Blossom panics, rightfully informing her sister that foxes are known to eat rabbits, but the caring pseudo-hero understands that in this world of anthropomorphized animals, the fox is in need of protection. Blossom is won over by the big-eyed predator’s predicament and the opportunity to show off her knowledge of geography, ultimately conceding that “maybe being kind was kind of…super.” The goofy, buck-toothed rabbits, set against an anodyne version of New York City, are cute, and there is a fizzy graphic-novel vibe to the illustrations, but the overall story comes across as cloying and contrived. Kids who identify with Superbuns will feel validated; less so the Blossoms in the audience.
A teaching text for those whose taste runs to the saccharine. (Picture book. 4-8)