Small Kindnesses: Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby
SOMETIMES SQUISH WAS HARD TO SEE (WHICH IS HOW HE GOT HIS NAME).
WONDERFUL THINGS PASSED HIM BY.
Squish is truly little, but as we know, good things come in small packages, and this maxim is also true for this little book and its even smaller protagonist.
Squish is a tiny white rabbit who feels unworthy and unnoticed. A tempting red balloon floats by, just out of reach and out to sea. The big white rabbits don't seem to listen to him, and he is lonely, seemingly stuck in his small world.
Drawing a friendly looking little rabbit with sidewalk chalk doesn't do it. An apple tree doesn't make a good playmate either, dropping too many apples at once. Squish gets angry and tries a tantrum, finally throwing a windfall apple as far as he can. It bounces toward the cliff overlooking the sea, and Squish watches in horror as an unseen little squirrel just appears and heedlessly bounds after it. Suddenly Squish finds his voice.
In a bit of book design drama, the two stare at each other from opposite pages, as they each recognize a kindred spirit, and a friendship begins that makes Squish feel bigger and bigger.
Katherine Battersby's sensitive little story, illustrated minimally with blackline drawings highlighted with a judicious use of red, Squish Rabbit (Viking, 2011), has a lot to say about friendship in just a few words. "A delightful and promising debut," says Publishers Weekly.