Friday, July 3, 2009

A Small Surprise

Random House
Louise Yates

I really like this book. I like the bunny's quiet confidence, and how the other animals seem to be rooting for him. I like how there's a real storyline to follow, told with very few words. I love the illustrations and the surprise ending. Truly, this is a little bunny masterpiece!

The beginning is a little unusual as the story actually starts out on the inside cover, instead of the first page. Because the drawing is rendered in pale blue and white, it's fairly easy to overlook, but it actually sets the background for the story. A huge billboard boasts the magnificent menagerie of a circus which includes the biggest, tallest, longest and largest animals of all. A vagabond bunny passing through is drawn to the notice tacked in the corner announcing "Jobs available, apply within ... small animals need not apply."

With a bow to the larger animals, the bunny allows he is indeed very small. He unties his brindle to reveal a pint sized pair of clown shoes, umbrella and red nose. He demonstrates how he is too small to wipe his own nose, or tie his own shoes. He's too small to walk very far on the tightrope without needing a rest and even too small to eat without making a mess. But he's just the right size to disappear and reappear in the most unlikely places. Ta-da, he amazes the other animals again and again with his agility and speed.

Though the words are few, the illustrations tell a great bit more of the story. At first the animals seem surprised by the bunny's appearance, then sort of charmed and finally mystified by his considerable talent. The moral of the story is being small doesn't mean you can't be amazing! The inside cover at the back of the book shows the bunny amending the circus poster to reflect his appearance.

Overall, an excellent, quirky, wonderful, lovely book that I wholeheartedly recommend!

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