Sunday, October 28, 2018

Bunnicula Returns? Big Bunny by Rowboat Watkins

Once upon a time, there was a BIG BUNNY.

So begins the purported bedtime story, as parent and child cuddle cozily together in bed under a carrot-printed coverlet. Time for little bunnies to settle down to beddy-bye?

Not exactly. This BIG BUNNY is not cut out to be a warm and fuzzy bedtime bunny. In this fractured bedtime story, the young one, seeking something scary, kidnaps the main character, the would-be centerpiece of this nighty-night tale. He interrupts....

A ginormously SCARY bunny?

The parent tries to continue the narration of a regular big bunny who lives, not on a gigantic carrot asteroid careening in space, but a regular, round planet and eats, not monstrous carrots, but just nice normal orange carrots, not too small, carrots that...

When do we get to the SCARY part?

The storyteller tries to beef up the tale, allowing his Big Bunny to have terrible manners, eating ten carrots at a time, swallowing them whole. Truckloads of carrots....

Does Big Bunny EAT the trucks?

The narrator nixes any suggestions that the trucks have more taste and crunch, but does allow a concession, giving them a horrible fate--stuck in traffic-- requiring the penguins who drive the trucks to construct bridges to give them a way out of the jam.

Penguins drive trucks? This story is WORSE than traffic!

By this time, this bedtime bunny story is well on its way to becoming the story of the Big Bunny Who Ate Cleveland, or whatever city it is that he wants to crunch! The beleaguered storyteller objects, speaking with the voice of reason....


I wouldn't tell Big Bunny that.

By this time, our young storyline pirate has totally taken over the whole plotline, in Rowboat Watkins' bizarre bedtime story, Big Bunny (Chronicle Books, 2018). And, sure enough, there's still a surprise in Watkins' next-to-last two-page spread where the, um, crunchy identity of the two storytellers is revealed and a really SCARY conclusion is, well, foreshadowed! Rowboat Watkins' picture books are cleverly conceived and illustrated with an iconic and ironic sense of humor that pleases young readers. "The infectious fun continues to the ending, which will be—trust me—a giant, hilarious surprise to both parents and kids," says The New York Times Book Review.

Share this one with Watkin's weird hit story, Rude Cakes (see review here) and do not miss this chance to read the Aaron Reynolds' Caldecott-winning Creepy Carrots! and Creepy Pair of Underwear! (reviews here).

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