Maybelle, Bunny of the North by Keith Patterson
Maybelle is a little bunny who lives in Homer, Alaska. The book follows her through some of the things she does there. She does many things that most children do: plays in the snow, watches the night sky, plays in the park, takes a bath, and is read to at bedtime. But some of the things she does are uniquely Alaskan: watching the float planes take off from the lake and looking for moose in the fireweed. The book illustrations have a hand-painted feel to them and are filled with blue skies, red flowers, and the sheltering mountains.
This is a short, gentle story that allows small children to see that people who live in different parts of the world and even the US itself have both commonalities and differences. It would be an interesting discussion to talk with children about what makes their area of the world unique. What do they consider every day things that others may be surprised and delighted by?
Patterson has created a story with a nice pacing. It is firmly grounded in Homer, Alaska and it is a pleasure to read a picture book for very young children with such a strong sense of place. The progression through the day will be very familiar to all children, and the surprises of the uniquely Alaskan moments will be enjoyed by all as well.
Appropriate for ages 2-4, this book is simple and satisfying.