This interactive board book features a finger-puppet bunny enjoying a meal at the table.
Even bunnies have to learn how to eat, as evidenced by the mess made at the end of the meal in this board book. The story encourages a conversational tone, with the main character—a bespectacled white child with features characteristic of Down syndrome—talking to the bunny while having a meal. The child’s dialogue appears on the left with the stuffed animal’s responses on the right. The finger-puppet bunny head is absolutely adorable: well done in three dimensions, complete with ears that stand up and a pink nose. The illustrations themselves are appropriately basic, all taking place at the same table with little variation in the child’s facial expressions and only minor changes to food and drink from page to page. The uncredited rhyming text is lackluster: child: “Carrot, Bunny? / All for you!” Bunny: “Crunch, crunch, crunch! / It’s good to chew!” The three other books in the series (Dive In, Ducky!, Play Time, Puppy!, and Sleep Tight, Teddy!) feature the same structure, successes, and struggles. It’s refreshing to see such inclusive treatment of disability. Teddy features a black-presenting child with a cochlear implant, and Puppy’s Asian-presenting protagonist wears a safety helmet, suggesting seizures. (Ducky’s protagonist presents white and has no evident disability.) The finger puppets remain adorable across the series.
As inclusive, adorable puppet playthings, this book and its companions succeed—but not so much on literary merit. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)