Squish, a tiny rabbit, lives with towering fears: of storms, chickens and the dark.
Adorable, sensitive, and squish-ably vulnerable, this bunny cowers and covers his eyes when confronted by these worrisome scenarios. Nebulous, sometimes untraceable fears haunt little heads, and Battersby’s simple story of confrontation will help many young readers subdue their own anxieties. It takes a rescue mission (where’s Squish’s best buddy Twitch?) for Squish to muster the courage to face lightning, feathers and night. The critters’ rounded figures, rendered in thick, fluid black lines, bestow them with an irresistibly cuddly cuteness—even though they appear as flat as one-dimensional pancakes. Battersby incorporates surprising multimedia accents throughout (gold foil lightning bolts, chickens constructed entirely out of yellow feathers, textured papers, patterned fabrics) that give children the chance to hunt for the unexpected. Squish’s search for Twitch, however, and the subsequent systematic dismantling of each phobia, feel quite familiar. Luckily, notes of persistently sweet, quirky humor save this book from predictability. The animals sleep in socks pinned to a clothesline; Twitch writes a note in a paw-print script utterly indecipherable to Squish; their acorn and carrot snacks appear laughably gargantuan; and don’t even get started giggling about how chickens could possibly raise goose bumps!
A little humor that goes a long way toward conquering big fears. (Picture book. 2-5)