Alibi Betty: Betty Bunny Didn't Do It by Michael B. Kaplan
"MAN!" SAID BETTY BUNNY'S BROTHER BILL. "YOU ARE A HANDFUL."
Betty Bunny's brother Henry and sister Kate thought she was a handful, too. In fact, as usual, they were too busy to play with little Betty. So Betty decides that she will play ball by herself. She grabs a ball and glove.
THERE WAS NO ONE TO THROW THE BALL TO. SHE THREW IT ANYWAY.
Mom's favorite lamp bites the dust. Betty knows she's in a compromising situation. She begins to stuff the broken lamp under the rug, but Henry and Kate catch her in the act. Then Mom arrives to survey the situation.
"I DIDN'T DO IT!" SAID BETTY. "THE TOOTH FAIRY DID IT."
BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE WAS A GOOD IDEA. BETTY BUNNY WONDERED WHY SHE HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE.
Big brother Bill has a momentary spell of protectiveness for his baby sister and tries to take the rap for her, and Mom congratulates him for confessing. Now Betty sees that fessing up is a new way to get some compliments out of Mom, so she comes up with a real whopper. She confesses to robbing a bank and waits expectantly for the praise to start rolling in.
It seems that it's time for one of those serious talks with Mom.
How that handful Betty Bunny learns what it means to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth is the subject of Michael Kaplan's latest in his Betty Bunny series, Betty Bunny Didn't Do It (Dial, 2013). Betty is an ebullient preschooler who readily admits to telling "an honest lie," but discovers that Mom and Dad have a different idea about the true meaning of honesty. Sorting out the difference between little white lies, whoppers, and the honest truth is Betty's job de jour, in the third in Kaplan's comic Betty Bunny tales. Stephane Jonisch's softly humorous illustrations of Betty being herself are sympathetic to this youngster sorting out the rules in a big family where things can get confusing when you're the youngest. Kirkus Reviews nails the insouciant charm of this new Betty tale well, saying "Jorisch's enchanting watercolor illustrations capture Betty's bouncy behavior and her family's reactions with delightful flair, from the carrot-shaped hair ornament on Betty Bunny's head to the hint of a mustache on the teenage brother's suitably snide upper lip."
Earlier books in this series are Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake (see review here) and Betty Bunny Wants Everything. (see review here.)