Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bunny Days by Tao Nyeu

Weird but in a fascinating, sweet kind of way. That pretty much sums up my feelings about this book. Storytime audiences feel a little differently about it; parents are a bit doubtful about it, younger kids are intrigued, and older children feel a need to explain the oddities.

There are three stories here, each featuring the same characters and general plot. Mr. or Mrs. Goat get the bunnies in trouble. They go to Bear for help and he fixes the problem. "Everyone is happy."

Simple, right? But there's so many delicate details sprinkled throughout the story...In the first story, the bunnies get dirty and need a bath and the illustrations are predominantly blue. In the second story, the bunnies get sucked into Mrs. Goat's vacuum cleaner and the illustrations are browns and oranges. In the third story, Mr. Goat accidentally cuts off the bunnies' tails when he's trimming the hedges and the story is all greens. Bear's solutions in each story are completely logical from a young child's point of view, while an older child will relish the delicious silliness of putting the bunnies in a washing machine and hanging them out to dry.

Nervous parents will look a little askance at these stories - I've had several giggle uncomfortably or delicately hint that the stories were a know...especially the bunnies getting their tails cut off. But it only seems to bother adults. Very small children giggle uncontrollably throughout while older children explain matter-of-factly to their younger siblings and friends "they're not real bunnies! It's pretend."
Exactly. Delightful, silly, logical pretend.

Verdict: Take a look at it yourself to see if it will work in your library. Not everyone will appreciate the dry humor and fairy tale logic of the stories, but if you think you have a good audience, it's a lovely book.

ISBN: 9780803733305; Published January 2010 by Dial; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library


Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

It's great to get the storytime perspective on this one, Jean. I love it myself, but I can see how not everyone would.

Jennifer said...

Maybe I just have very sensitive parents - I had a couple who got testy about me telling The Gingerbread Boy with him getting eaten at the end - but the kids loved it. I had some volunteers with a visiting school group glare furiously at me throughout a reading of The Book That Eats People (while the children laughed hysterically) Bunny Days is a favorite of mine and it's circulated like crazy, but I probably won't use it in storytime too often. But not all books have to be storytime books!