Moving Pictures: Good Night, Little Bunny by Emily Hawkins
Little Bunny and Dusty Squirrel have played together so long that shadows are deepening across the clearing in the woods. Bunny is a little afraid of the dark and decides to head for home as fast as he can hop. But what is that shadow just ahead? Oh, it's just Freddie Fox Cub.
"IT'S GETTING DARK AND YOU SCARED ME!"
THERE'S NOTHING TO BE SCARED OF," FREDDY REPLIED. "I LOVE THE NIGHT TIME. IT'S THE BEST TIME FOR BURROWING!"
Easy for Freddie to say. He has no dark-time predators to worry about. Still, Freddy starts digging, and Little Bunny, who loves burrowing, too, can't resist the fun. Soon the dirt is flying and the moon is rising and Little Bunny forgets his fear of the dark. One by one, Little Bunny meets up with the forest's nocturnal animals: a troupe of dormice trip by, dancing, and Daisy the Deer stops by to see what's down with the two diggers. Suddenly there was a scary sound.
Silhouetted by the starry sky, Olive Owl has some not-so-sunny advice for Bunny...
"LITTLE RABBITS SHOULD NOT BE OUT ALONE AT NIGHT. WHY DON'T I SHOW YOU THE WAY HOME?"
And, of course, the worried Mother and Father Bunny are eager to welcome their little runaway home for a snuggle and finally a late but welcome bedtime.
Emily Hawkins' new Good Night, Little Bunny: A Changing-Picture Book (Changing Picture Books) offers up an amiable text with no surprises in the familiar AWOL bunny genre, but the lovely illustrations by John Butler, done in soft spring pastels chronicle this little adventure charmingly, and the "changing-picture book" format works especially well for this little tale.
The die-cut cover shows an appropriately adorable cottontail bunny, but when the book is opened to the title page the movable pages shift to show Little Bunny nicely nestled with his parents. The opening page showing Dusty and Bunny moves when the flap formed by the lift-the-flap tree in the right foreground opens to shift the scene to show Freddie Fox Cub emerging from the twilight and ready to play. Another engaging design shifts the view of Little Bunny and Daisy Deer to one of Olive Owl perched on her limb with the nighttime sky behind her.
As a board book for the very youngest, just old enough to attend to the pictures, this moving-picture format will not fail to delight, while slightly older children will especially appreciate this book's hands-on technology which puts them in charge of setting the story into motion.