The sweet, round-eyed bunny-and-mouse duo are back for a new adventure in this familiar series for the very young (The New Friend, 2017, etc.).
Cheery, horizontal, red-and-white stripes on the endpapers hint at the Christmas theme within. The plot is simple. Pip and Posy pick out a tree to decorate for Christmas. After putting it up at home, they hang candy canes, chocolate bells, and homemade cookies. When Posy’s back is turned, Pip starts to play tricks on Posy, eating the ornaments one by one. When they have all disappeared, Posy is distraught—and Pip heads to the couch to lie down. Although Posy eventually cottons on to him, she doesn’t reveal that she knows what he’s done until Pip apologizes. Together they find a solution to keep Pip from succumbing to his sweet tooth, and all is well. Visual and behavioral cues peg Pip as male and Posy as female. Pip is the taller, rascally one wearing pants while the shorter, calmer Posy wears a skirt and takes the role as caregiver, with an almost adult demeanor. Very appealing illustrations are in gouache; clean, clear images on lots of white space and large type make this an equally nice fit for reading out loud and beginning readers.
Repetition and counting offer satisfying predictability that will keep young readers turning the sturdy pages. (Picture book. 2-5)