Review: Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail

piggy bunny

Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

Liam does not want to be a pig when he grows up, even though he’s a piglet.  Instead, Liam wants to be the Easter Bunny.  Liam even practiced his bunny skills: hopping, eating salad, and delivering eggs.  But they didn’t work out too well.  His family thought that he should just admit he was a pig and move on.  But then his grandmother said that they didn’t have the imagination to see him as a rabbit and that he needed a bunny suit to have them see it.  Unfortunately, the bunny suit doesn’t fit quite right, one ear doesn’t stand up straight, and it itches.  But when Liam looks in the mirror, all of that is forgotten, because he sees — the Easter Bunny!

Vail has created an Easter book that will have appeal far beyond that holiday.  It’s a book about a child with a dream that others can’t even visualize and that child creating it in a way that lets others share his vision.  That solid message is packaged in a very friendly, light-hearted package with lots of appeal.  Her writing is sprightly and fun-filled, inviting children to put on costumes and try new identities.

A large part of the appeal of the book are the illustrations.  Done in thick lines and bright, candy-colored backgrounds, the illustrations are filled with energy and humor. 

A pig in a bunny suit that is as cute as this one will have this book off of library shelves in no time.  Add in the solid storyline and you have a winning Easter book.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Feiwel and Friends.

Review: Step Gently Out by Helen Frost

step gently out

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost, illustrated by Rick Lieder

This picture book celebrates looking closely at the small things in the world around us.  Through a poem that focuses on the insects that you can notice if you slow down and take the time, Frost quietly reminds us all that there is another world beside our own that we often ignore.  Ants are climbing up stems, honeybees buzz past, crickets leap and spiders spin webs.  Children will get to see these insects up close, larger than life in the gorgeous photography that accompanies the poem.  It’s a perfect invitation to take a closer look.

Focusing on the more common insects in our gardens, the poem celebrates the ants, bees and moths that surround us.  Frost speaks about them very poetically, bathed in golden light or shining with stardust. 

Her gentle poem pairs beautifully with the artistic photography that features close ups of the insects in the poem.  The images are stunning and lovely, each focusing closely on an insect.  The morning dew image alone is a breathtaking photograph, but there is one after another that are exceptional.

Combining nature and poetry, this book celebrates both.  It also inspires mindfulness and a slower pace, so that children can make discoveries like this of their own.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.