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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bunnies on Ice, written and illustrated by Johanna Wright. A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2013. $18.99 ages 2 and up

"I have a lot of fans.
I can spin faster than
I can do a figure
eight with my
eyes closed.
I can leap into the air
and land perfectly
every time, just like a
champion ice-skater.
Well, almost."

I just came into the den, after watching some figure skating from Russia. It made me want to share this very assured young bunny's tale of her prowess on the ice. In actuality, she considers herself a champion. We are made aware that she might not be 'all that'.

Of course, it takes perfect conditions. Our young bunny is prepared to wait. Little do we know when we start out that we must wait through three seasons! We wait through springtime planting, hot summer days at the pond, the cool autumn harvest. Even the bunny's doll gets a close-up at the window when the falling snow makes its first appearance. Finally, the time has come to prove her superior skill.

Once everyone is awakened, and a hearty breakfast eaten, and warm clothes found for wintry weather, it's off to the pond where her fans await. Is it worth it? You will have to check it out for yourself.

The lovely artwork is all in the details and will have young listeners poring over every scene to find the birds tobogganing, the rabbit doll that accompanies her 'girl' on every outing, the sunbathing, the Halloween scarecrow, the book-lined walls, the hot chocolate on a cold evening; all the many fine details of life with a family of rabbits in their warren and in the outdoors. It's great fun!

Filled with cheer and cozy warmth, this is a story that will find its way to the pile of books to be read on long, winter nights.

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