Emmaline and the BunnyEmmaline and her family live in the town of Neatasapin, on Shipshape Street. The town mayor, Orson Oliphant, declares that "Tidy homes are spick-and-span sparkling! ... Tidy children are still, silent and spotless!" What is a child like Emmaline to do? She likes to dig in the dirt, hop in the puddles and shout, "Hoopalala!" and "Dinglederrydee!" when she's happy. Emmaline wants a friend, but she really wants a bunny "most mostly." She tries to be tidy like her parents ask her, so she can get a bunny - but when her parents take her to see the caged bunnies at the pet shop, she's despondent. She creates a burrow under the dining room table, decorating it with pictures of bunnies that can hop and scoot-skedaddled with her. And then she runs away, and discoveres the wild place - where a real bunny live, a real bunny that becomes her friend.
written and illustrated by Katherine Hannigan
NY: Greenwillow Books, 2009.
ages 6 - 9
My daughters and I really enjoyed this quiet fantasy. It is filled with a love for children and a respect for their imaginations and their worlds. It sings of a love of nature in all its untidiness, and a need to have nature and animals in our lives. Katherine Hannigan's watercolors are full of a soft, bright joy. My fourth-grader and I loved Hannigan's novel Ida B., a realistic story of a girl dealing with her mother's battle with cancer, but this was completely new and different - a real treat.
This small delight is perfect as a read-aloud for kindergartners and first graders, or as an early chapter book for 2nd graders. Browse through the publisher's website below to read a few chapters and see the wonderful illustrations.
For some other reviews, look at:
The Kids Corner (listen to the great podcast)
Patchwork of Books
Emmaline and the Bunny is available through your local independent bookstore, Amazon or your local public library.