Talk-Back! You're Finally Here! by Melanie Watt
YOU'RE FINALLY HERE!
BUT WHERE WERE YOU? DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG I'VE BEEN WAITING?
It's a bit disconcerting to open a book about a bunny and be berated by an in-your-face character for tardiness in opening his book. This bunny has definitely internalized the message to be assertive.
The lecture continues. It's rude to make people wait so long. Blah-blah-blah. Don't you get how boring it is to sit immobile on a page waiting for some action? The bunny's Bored-O-Meter has gone from "Bored" to "Bored Up To My Ears" already! It's as annoying as an itchy sweater...Yadda-yadda-yadda! The page focus dollies into a closeup of nothing but the bunny's glaring eyes and beetled brows.
And to seal the deal the bunny whips out a contract which states
YOU, THE READER, HEREBY AGREES TO STAY WITH ME, THE BUNNY (THE BOOK CHARACTER WITH WHICH YOU'RE FAMILIAR).
Just as the Bunny thinks he's reeled in a reader for life, his cell phone rings. With a breezy "Hold that thought" to the waiting reader, he throws himself into yakking with an old friend.
As the reader beats a hasty retreat, the clueless bunny suddenly notices the departure.
WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID?
Melanie Watts' latest, You're Finally Here! (Hyperion, 2011) joins Mo Willems' delightful recent We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) and Jef Czeka's witty Cat Secrets in the book-about-a-book genre. Whereas Willems' childlike characters are thrilled to find a reader looking back at them and Czeka's character has an appropriately cautious cat-itude of his own, Watts' full-of-himself brazen bunny gives the reader an earful of the trials and tribulations of a character just waiting for the tardy reader. It's a different point of view for the young reader, one which older picture book fans will probably find quite funny and certainly unique in the world of bunny books.