Brown Rabbit in the City

Brown Rabbit in the City by Natalie Russell

This book follows the story which began in Moon Rabbit about the friendship between Brown Rabbit and Little Rabbit, though this story focuses on Brown Rabbit’s point of view.  Brown Rabbit was headed to the city for the very first time to visit his friend Little Rabbit.  Little Rabbit is so excited to see him that she takes him on whirlwind tour of the city, dashing in and out of shops, sightseeing, and finally dancing.  But it’s all too much for Brown Rabbit, who finally heads out on his own.  Little Rabbit realizes then that she hadn’t really spoken to Brown Rabbit all day long and sets out to find him and make things right again.

Russell makes a nice exploration of friendship that children will easily relate to.  By mixing in the bustle and rush of the city with the excitement of a visiting friend, the story becomes about taking time in life in general and taking time with those we love.  It never gets too sentimental, but keeps it all simple and heartfelt.  Once again, it is the illustrations that really shine here in their simplicity and style.  Done in an organic palette of browns, greens, robin egg blue, and warm earthy yellow, the book is truly lovely.  Add to that the simple lines and hip styling and you have a modern classic.

Highly recommended, though you should start with Moon Rabbit first, this book builds on the first book and offers an unrushed look at our busy lives.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Viking.

Red Green Blue

Red Green Blue: A First Book of Colors by Alison Jay

On a rainy day, a little boy escapes into a world of nursery rhymes that is filled with a rainbow of colors.  He moves past icons of nursery rhymes like Little Boy Blue, Miss Muffet and her big black spider, Bo Peep’s white sheep, and five pink piggies.  Keep a sharp eye out for other nursery rhyme characters in the background, because there’s a list at the end of the book to see if you spotted them.  Told in a style that only Alison Jay could achieve with her vintage, crackling illustrations that maintain a modern energy, this book is sure to be a winner with preschoolers.

Jay has such a distinct and unique style that you can spot her books from afar.  Just as she has with counting books and alphabet books, Jay has once again captured the timelessness of childhood here.  Her exceptional illustrations bring energy and fun to the simple text which focuses on colors and characters.  It is in the illustrations that the world comes to life and there is a depth that makes exploring them ever so much fun.

Make room for this one in your section on colors and in your section on nursery rhymes.  Combining the two is a brilliantly colorful idea.  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Dutton.

Also reviewed by On My Bookshelf.