Spinelli and Lloyd celebrate the self-confidence that arises from a child’s achieving the milestones of growth, including the ups and downs of riding a bike sans training wheels.
With a little bunny narrating, the first half of the book focuses on all the things he can do now that he is a big boy. From getting dressed and doing chores to feats of skill on the playground and being kind, he certainly does seem to be maturing. And parents are sure to appreciate the things Spinelli highlights: cleaning up after himself, pitching in and especially putting others first—his guest gets the first turn, he is a good sport and he shares with his little sister. The second half of the book describes the bunny’s bumpy road to learning to ride a two-wheeler. He starts off well enough, but a wobble leads to a fall and some skinned appendages. A pep talk from Mom soothes his bruised self-confidence, while some practice helps him to success. Created with scratchboard and a spring palette of watercolors, Lloyd’s bunny characters are exuberant and upbeat. And while their range of emotions is rather limited (the bunny smiles even when washing dishes and making his bed), they successfully convey both pride and self-confidence.
A nice addition to the “growing up” books that not only deals with an obstacle to overcome, but features a main character that is slightly older than most in this genre. (Picture book. 4-8)