An encounter with a wolf has remarkable effects on the vocabulary of a snarky little bunny.
In what amounts to a remake of Maurice Sendak’s Pierre with cruder language and an all-animal cast, an anthropomorphic rabbit responds to every request with the titular phrase—including a wolf’s “May I eat you?” Down the hatch goes the lippy lapin, and now the wolf’s only words are “Poo bum.” This signals the wolf’s villainy to the rabbit doctor summoned to help, and he proceeds to reach down his patient’s gullet and pull out his “little poo bum!” “Good heavens, Father! How dare you call me that? You know perfectly well my name is Simon.” The pithy narrative’s heavy typeface accords well with both the level of humor and the illustrations’ thick, simply drawn lines and broad swathes of opaque primary hues. Originally published in 2011 in New Zealand (and much reprinted since), the episode first appeared on this continent in 2015 (from another publisher) as Poop-di-doop!—a version of the delightfully daring epithet that American audiences may find more immediately appealing than the original. At least the closing twist, in which the rabbit returns to form with “Fart!” in response to a parental order to brush his teeth, requires no translation.
Not quite the crowd pleaser that it could be. (Picture book. 3-5)