Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Big Rabbit's Bad Mood

Chronicle Books
Ramona Badescu; Illustrated by Delphine Durand

Have you ever been at the mercy of one of those bleak, awful moods that totally consumes you? A mood that is dark and mean, and try as you might, you just can't seem to shake? Big Rabbit has a big, bad mood just like that, which is following him around closely. He desperately tries to shake it off , but this is the hairy, clingy type that refuses to budge. What's a bunny to do?

Luckily for the readers, this bad mood happens to be a visible monster that stalks Big Rabbit all about his house. He is tall, with a shaggy gray body and his arms are so long that his knuckles drag on the floor. You can tell by the dopey smile on his face that he just loves tormenting Big Rabbit and prefers to spend his day ruining someone else's!

Big Rabbit calls his friend Squirrel, thinking maybe talking to a good friend will shake this stink off. But Squirrel doesn't answer his phone. Big Rabbit's Bad Mood tells him that's because Squirrel is probably whooping it up with Bear, munching on tea and cookies, having too good of a time to include a grumpy bunny like himself! Grrr. Big Rabbit's bad mood is so beastly that it cannot even be soothed by music or mindless television. After much deliberation, Rabbit knows the only solution is to ... call Big Mommy.

Big Rabbit's Mommy is the best sort: she makes the best pancakes, smells of springtime and always has time for her son. It is an unpleasant surprise for Big Rabbit to hear that she is too busy on this particular day to chat on the telephone. She tells Big Rabbit that she will have to call him back when she has finished with her very important duty. What could be more urgent than being stalked by the biggest, darkest mood in town???

This is the lowest level of low, to be ignored by your own mother. Just as Big Rabbit is working out his own solution to tricking his bad mood away, his doorbell rings. He opens his door to find a very big, very pleasant surprise. And in the midst of his happiness, he realizes the big gray monster is nowhere to be found.

If you won't agree that these are terrific illustrations, then we have a problem. This book could be wordless and I would still declare it a winner. Everything the bad mood does is funny - he devours the radio, lounges on the couch eating chips and treats the vacuum cleaner as if it were a pony. Children should laugh at the concept of a bad mood (which everyone is subject to) being a tangible presence. Big Rabbit is going through what we all go through, but in a much funnier way. Very clever and most enjoyable!

As always, Chronicle Books offers a little bit of extra fun. Check out their checklist of 5 Ways to Chase Away a Bad Mood.

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