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EMMA BEAN by Jean Van Leeuwen


by Jean Van Leeuwen & illustrated by Juan Wijngaard

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8037-1392-4
Publisher: Dial

 A particularly endearing stuffed toy--a very long-earred rabbit, made by Molly's grandmother before her birth--survives the affection of the normally rambunctious child. Toddler Molly is ``feeding'' the toy (while eating independently from a gloriously messy high-chair tray) when she names Emma Bean with what are almost her first words; she shares strawberries with her, plus the bath that follows; later, she makes her clothes, though she's sometimes rough, or neglects her to play with friends. Still, Emma Bean goes along on Molly's first day of school; and when Grandmother observes that she ``looks all worn out,'' Molly declares, ``I am going to keep her forever.'' Wijngaard's lucid, beautifully designed watercolors are exquisitely detailed; his characterizations--the rabbit is appealingly homely, while Molly has a winsome mop of red curls and a sturdy, active little body--are in perfect harmony with the carefully honed story's tender yet unsentimental tone. A fine readaloud or early young reader. (Picture book. 4-8)