Bunnies for Lunch?: Don't Play With Your Food! by Bob Shea
"OUTTA MY WAY, TREES! DRY UP, LAKE!
YOU'RE NOT SO HOT, SUN!
HI. I'M BUDDY! I'M A MONSTER.
I'M GOING TO EAT ALL YOU BUNNIES!"
Buddy gets right down to business. Bunnies are for eating. Period.
Although the three white bunnies quail at the idea of jumping into his mouth for lunch, they're smarter than Buddy.
"OH, PLEASE, NO! WE ARE ABOUT TO MAKE CUPCAKES!"
Buddy has more bravado than brains and grudgingly decides to let the baker bunnies finish the cupcakes, so he'll have bunnies as his entree' and a dessert besides. He agrees to play with the bunnies until the cupcakes come out of the oven, and the cakes are so irresistible that, after eating most of them himself, he decides to save the bunnies for breakfast.
But when he returns the next day, the bunnies invite him to go swimming with them and warn Buddy that he'll get a cramp if he swims with a stomach full of bunny. He has a great time splashing and sunning with the guys, and falls asleep before he can eat them. When he awakes, he can't quite bring himself to do the deed.
"THEY LOOK SO CUTE WHEN THEY'RE ASLEEP!"
But the next day the bunnies are all wearing orange-stripey Buddy Fan Club sweaters. A monster can't eat his fan club, can he?
Then the bunnies invite Buddy to the carnival and choose the most nausea-inducing rides, and Buddy is too queasy to stomach any sort of bunny for the rest of the day.
The bunnies seem to have more tricks up their sleeves than Buddy has appetite for eating them, in Bob Shea's latest monster giggle fest, Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don't Play with Your Food! (Hyperion, 2014). Buddy even loses all street cred with the other monsters, who point out his obvious mistake:
"DIDN'T YOUR MOM EVER TELL YOU NOT TO PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD?
Bob Shea's scary-cute monster is no match for the clever bunnies, who seems to keep multiplying with each page turn, until even dim-bulb Buddy finally takes notice. Shea's theme, that fun friends trump even lunch and dinner, will please kids, and the bunnies' increasing numbers and creative main-dish-avoidance techniques make this trickster tale a winner with the preschool/primary set. Shea's art is as wild and woolly as his main character, and judging from the title, he plans a new series built around Buddy and the bunnies. Kirkus Reviews writes, "Shea's storytelling still shines. Children often see themselves as the underdog in an adultcentric world; they'll be rooting for the bunnies (all three... wait, 72 of them)".
Pair this new one with any of Shea's similarly slapstick Dinosaur stories, such as Dinosaur vs. Bedtime and Dinosaur vs. the Potty (Board Book). (Read my rip-RAHHR-ing reviews here!)