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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hocus Pocus. Story by Sylvie Desrosiers and art by Remy Simard. Kids Can Press, 2011. $16.95 ages 3 and up

"Meet Hocus Pocus, a mischievous rabbit in a magician's hat.

Likes:  carrots
Dislikes: sharp teeth

There's only one thing standing in the way of his heart's desire -

This description from the front flyleaf pretty much sums up this witty wordless story of a carefree rabbit and his persistent nemesis, a cantankerous canine who doesn't like rabbits, especially those
who just happen to pop out of a magic hat. The dog does like sleeping, and it seems hard to come by since he and Mister Magic walked in the front door.

Putting his hat on the a nearby cupboard, Mister Magic is off to stow the groceries, water the dog and take a much needed siesta. Both are soon dozing. The snoring obviously wakens said rabbit and out he hops. Mmm! The carrots on the counter are tempting; but he's smart enough to know that the dog could be a problem. Perhaps bedroom slippers will keep the noise down. Stepping on a unseen peanut has him running for cover. The dog seems oblivious. Time after time his attempts to get to the carrot are thwarted and he must think of another way to avoid capture.

As in any slapstick comedy, the action just becomes more exaggerated and hilarious. Kids will be howling as they watch the antics of both rabbit and dog, each doing their best to get what each wants. The characters are bold in action and in color, and are full of expression, both goofy and endearing. As generally happens in trickster tales, the rabbit wins out. He gets the carrot. Dog gets the boot. Only we know what really happened while Mister Magic was having his music filled nap.

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