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Friday, March 13, 2015

Wolfie the Bunny, written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette. 2015. $19.00 ages 3 and up

"They peeked. They gasped.
It was a baby wolf!
"He's adorable," said Mama.
"He's ours!" said Papa.

said Dot.

But Mama and Papa were
too smitten to listen."

Dot is clearly aghast when her bunny family returns home to find a wolf cub in a basket on their doorstep. She knows they are in danger. Her parents know nothing of the sort ... they are totally enamored of this new family member.

Dot is wary, and spends a sleepless night. Wolfie sleeps soundly beside her. Her parents are obviously unconcerned. They are in love with their new bundle of joy. Photos chronicle every new accomplishment, including carrots for breakfast. Dot repeats her warning. Her parents are too busy to listen. Her friends concur with Dot's take on the situation and take their play to another house, and yard.

After they leave, we see the first hint of sadness for the new sibling. He misses his sister, and is quick to attach himself to her every move once she returns. Dot is not impressed with the drooling, or the close quarters. Wolfie grows quickly, much too quickly for Mama to keep up with the daily shopping. Dot and Wolfie are sent to get a new supply of carrots. Dot has reservations. A threat to her new brother sees Dot defending him in the face of danger. Wolfie is ever grateful!

In an artist's note, Zachariah OHora explains that his artwork is done using acrylics, and that he has made the setting for the story his former neighborhood, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He creates perfectly appealing characters using bold black outlines. The expressions leave no room for misunderstanding the way that those characters feel at every moment. The neighborhood details add depth, and humor.
This charming, witty book is sure to become a family favorite, new sibling or not!

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