Wham! Bam! Chop! Can Black Belt Bunny pick up a new skill?
Black Belt Bunny is “reeeeeeeeeeally fast,” superstrong, “surprisingly sneaky,” and, in sum, “nothing short of swell.” But when it comes to learning something new—it’s time to learn how to make a salad—Black Belt Bunny is nowhere to be found. What’s wrong? Alas, since Black Belt Bunny does not talk, it’s never entirely clear. In the manner of Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda’s Here Comes the Easter Cat (2014) and companions, the story is told entirely through the narrator’s one-sided dialogue with the nonverbal bunny. Fleck’s pencil-and-digital illustrations depict an incredibly emotive Bunny, but Davis’ text only hints at, without quite confirming, Bunny’s central crisis. Readers might guess that this is a won’t-eat-vegetables story, but little Bunny apparently loves salad. The narrator notes that Bunny has never made a salad before, implying it’s a fear of trying new things. Readers, on the other hand, may well wonder why Bunny has to make a salad at all, and thus will have trouble following the narrator’s logic. The text is funniest and most relevant when revealing the narrator’s own fears, but it more often adopts the weirdly effusive praise of an overindulgent adult (“Black Belt Bunny, you continue to amaze me”).
Black Belt Bunny’s salad doesn’t quite come together. (Picture book. 3-7)