Attack of the Snack

Silver Dolphin Bks. (Rabbit & Bear: Bk. 3). Apr. 2020. 112p. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781684126170.
Gr 2-4–Rabbit and Bear are enjoying a soak in the lake when something falls out of the sky that changes the course of their day, and perhaps even their lives. The “Mysterious Thing” turns out to be a small owl, which Rabbit quickly condemns as a potentially vicious predator and soon persuades Woodpecker, Mouse, and Vole to agree. Bear finds their judgments hasty but wanders off to eat blueberries rather than risk a confrontation with her friends. Meanwhile, Rabbit and the others place the still unconscious owl in a jail constructed from a hollow tree stump for her potential crimes. When Owl regains consciousness, the animals learn she is the eponymous “snack” as she fell out of the sky while fleeing larger owls from the next valley who were trying to eat her. Rabbit sees the error of his ways and apologizes. The final act includes gathering Bear’s blueberry poo to attract dung beetles for Owl to snack upon, and a comedy show in which the greatest hit is the loudest belch. The story’s pointed politics are readily apparent—early on, Rabbit’s list of scariest words include “Trumpwig”—however, the underlying message addresses universal themes of the evil that comes from prematurely judging people who are different from ourselves. The story’s use of bathroom humor translates these often difficult themes into a realm of absurdity that will certainly delight and engage young readers.
VERDICT A humorous elementary read in which social commentary and poop jokes can peacefully coexist.

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