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BIG MEAN MIKE by Michelle Knudsen


by Michelle Knudsen & illustrated by Scott Magoon

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4990-6
Publisher: Candlewick

A warning: This book may make you like cute bunnies.

Big Mean Mike likes monster-truck shows. This is puzzling, because he’s bigger than some of the trucks. Big Mean Mike wears combat boots he bought at a store called Big Boots. Mike, it’s worth noting, is a dog, with a spiked collar. Mike should never own a bunny, but small, cute bunnies keep appearing in his sports car. One shows up in his trunk. Another shows up in his glove compartment. To Knudsen’s credit, this is never explained. Magoon has made the bunnies exactly as adorable as they need to be. They’re never cloying, but they’re fuzzy and round, and readers will feel embarrassed for Mike when he has to carry them past his friends, who are wearing muscle shirts and the occasional eye patch. The small details may be the real reason to buy the book. The grille of Mike’s car looks like the teeth of a shark. One of the toughest dogs has a cat’s skull and crossbones on his shirt, along with the words “HERE, KITTY, KITTY.” And every young reader will spot the Batmobile at the edge of a parking lot. When Mike finally learns to love his bunnies, the illustrations have set up the moment perfectly. They look like they belong together.

Even the toughest readers will crumble under the appeal of these bunnies. (Picture book. 4-8)