Remember clutching that beloved childhood object to your chest? Closing your eyes to breathe in a smell as familiar as your own skin, readying yourself for the steepest slide or the darkest night?
Small Bunny finds just this kind of comfort in his blue blanket, soft with wear and dirt, but he worries some of its threadbare magic will wash away when mother does laundry. Appealingly elemental line drawings aptly describe a straightforward story about a child’s simple love of a singularly special possession. Hints of pink highlight Small Bunny’s ears and cotton tail, sweetening and softening the nearly colorless pictures of the boxy-bodied rabbit with dot eyes. Faint blue watercolors accent specifics in his surroundings (an apron, a swing seat, water in the tub) and orient readers to the tiniest corners of his world. Small Bunny’s blanket, appropriately, anchors every page. Trailing behind him on the swing or tucked under his bottom in front of the easel, it’s the only swath of color, assuming new shapes and undulating with watery blues and rippling collage work. Feeney’s winsome illustrations benefit from ample white space, which somehow endows each scene with earnest, emotional weight. Her words, succinct and spot-on, appear in well-spaced lettering (irregularly colored blue by hand) and float on the wide white backdrop.
Unfettered, fresh illustrations communicate a child’s bottomless love for a treasured possession. (Picture book. 2-5)