A Small Surprise

A Small Surprise by Louise Yates.

A very small white rabbit heads to try to get a job with a circus of animals even though the advertisement says that they don’t want small animals.  The rabbit has trouble getting his clown nose on, can’t tie the clown shoes no matter how he tries, and can’t walk the length of the tightrope without stopping.  Even eating proves to be messy but when the rabbit gets into trouble, something incredible happens that just may keep it in the circus after all.

The illustrations here tell the bulk of the story.  The quizzical animals are large but not scary at all.  They help the small rabbit get dressed and root for the little one when walking the tightrope.  When the rabbit displays its talent, the book turns riotously funny complete with spitting.  I especially enjoy the giraffe who spends the entire book with a leafy twig hanging from her loopy tongue, watching everything unfold around her.  A book of few words, this book repeats the few it has for most of the book, saying “I am too small to…” again and again.  With such great illustrations, this is the perfect amount of text, offering up support for the pictures but allowing them to tell the real story.

With one large word in the entire book and lots of repetition, this one would be good for emergent readers but it is also perfect for sharing with groups of children who will love the sudden transformation of the small rabbit into a true clown and the laughter that that brings.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.