A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo
Amelia is a very big bunny, the largest bunny in her class. She stands out in a crowd, but wishes that she was a more normal size. At recess, no one will play with her because she is too tall for jump rope, her feet are too big for hopscotch, and she is too heavy for the seesaw to work. So she spends recess standing at the edge of the playground, listening to the wind and watching the clouds. When Susannah joins their class, she is the smallest bunny. The children won’t play with her at recess either because she is too low for jump rope, too small for hopscotch, and too light for the seesaw. So Susannah tries to join Amelia at the fence, but Amelia rebuffs her. Susannah though does not give up, and so Amelia slowly transforms into a big-hearted friend for a small bunny. She also learns that it’s not that bad standing out from the crowd.
Amelia is a bunny that I can completely relate to. I was always one of the tallest children in my class, too heavy for the seesaw. And I too had to learn, just as all children do, that it’s OK to be different. In fact, it’s downright essential! Almost every child is different from the crowd in some way, Amelia’s difference is size, but she will be easily related to no matter what difference the reader may have.
Russo’s writing reads aloud wonderfully with its natural cadence. The pacing is wonderful, especially when the friendship between the two girls is developing. I really appreciated that it was slow and steady, making their friendship more real. Russo’s gouache illustrations are filled with bright colors and capture with confidence and ease the differences of the bunnies without making it comical or extreme.
Embrace your inner big bunny and stand out with this book! Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Random House.