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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chloe, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty. Balzer & Bray, Harper. 2012. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"Soon, everyone came to the table for peas, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, noodles, and sweet potatoes, all their favorite foods.
After dessert, all the Bunnies crowded around the television. Everyone except Chloe and little Bridget."

If you read and coveted Henry in Love (2010) as I did, you will not be surprised with your delight at meeting up with Chloe once more.  If you are like me, you will have a better understanding of why she captured Henry's heart. She is a captivating critter.

Born right in the middle of a family of twenty-one children (you will know how that is possible if you have read Emily Gravett's hilarious The Rabbit Problem), Chloe is content. She has lots of company, and obviously the days are full of activity. But her best time of the day is at the end, "when her whole family was together. She called it family fun time."

Obviously we don't know what generally happened during family fun time since we are just meeting Chloe's bunny family; but when a television becomes 'center' of attention and Chloe is no longer feeling in the middle, she is not pleased. She does not succumb to its allure, and convinces her little sister that there is fun to be had elsewhere. It doesn't take more than bubble wrap and a big cardboard box.

The Bunnies have it right with their chosen diet (as Michael Pollen would food, mostly plants, not too much!); and Chloe seems to have family time firmly rooted in fun. A women with a mind of her own, and a will to make things better. Well done, Chloe!

As you pore over the cream colored pages filled with soft pastel images of the Bunny family, you will wonder at Peter McCarty's talent. He makes his characters the focus of our attention with little background clutter to distract us. Each bunny is carefully drawn to give us insight into its character; you can begin to imagine that they each have a story to tell. I wonder?

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