It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Big Bunny!
Controlled, repetitive text invites children to read short sentences directing them to find “a foot…a hand…a tail,” and so on. These named body parts belong to a figure that isn’t wholly visible until the book’s end, provoking readers to search them out in the detailed images. Their stark whiteness makes them stand out on the pages, which depict a busy, vibrant setting reminiscent of those in Richard Scarry books and are likewise populated by anthropomorphic animals going about their days. Shifting perspective and scale make it clear that the creature is not just another one of these animals, and many readers will use the title and cover image to infer that they belong to the eponymous Big Bunny. The reveal at the conclusion is that Big Bunny is not a giant but a large helium balloon of the sort seen in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While this clever conceit is carried out with accessible text, there is a little quibble: the saturation and intentional busyness of the illustrations leaves little rest for new readers’ eyes. The sentences and vocabulary are simple, but finding them on the page is the challenge here.
Big fun for new readers who are ready to turn their Where’s Waldo skills to finding text. (Early reader. 5-7)