Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood

Those Pesky Rabbits arrived in our school library today! Can you tell I am excited?  Yes it arrived TODAY and I am talking about it tonight!

Right from the first end paper I knew Those Pesky Rabbits would be a special book.  Home Sweet Home is embroidered on a framed sampler and our bear stands outside his solitary house.  Now jump to the back.  The sampler has changed and now includes five rabbits and a new house close by.  Bear now has neighbours and friends. Sorry, I am getting ahead of the story.  The opening lines are

"Bear lived on his own in the middle of nowhere and that was just the way he liked it."

The complication comes when a family of rabbits build their house right next door. Being good neighbours the rabbits knock on Bear's door.  They need some honey for a cake they are baking. Bear explains he has no honey but when we turn the page this huge lie is revealed - you will see not just one jar of honey but five enormous jars all with special labels attached detailing use of the honey.  "Delicious in milk, tea and hot chocolate"  "Good with figs and raisins"  "Yummy on pancakes"

The rabbits are not put off and return a little later to ask for help with chopping wood.  Bear says he is too busy but it is clear to the reader he is doing nothing and is just sitting in front of his own warm fire. The rabbits make one more visit this time with books to swap.  Take a close look at the titles - "How to be nice and make friends" "Vegetarian cooking"  "Rabbit adventures".

Bear yells at the rabbits that he just wants to be left alone and so that is exactly what happens until one day he finds a basket on his front door step.

It is easy to anticipate the happy ending but this will be new to a young reader.  I loved this book with its warm message of friendship, the pattern of three and the quirky little touches you will find on each page.  Take a look at the Bear's front door mat, the sneaky mouse who lives in his house, the seasonal change and the lovely snuggle scene where bear reads a book to his new friends after a day of honey collection, cake baking and wood chopping.

Those pesky rabbits is the first book written and illustrated by Ciara Flood.  Take a minute to check out her web site - it is as charming as her book.

After reading Those pesky rabbits you should also look for the bear series by Bonnie Becker.  You might also look for The Mice Next Door.

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