Big Bunny

40p. Chronicle. Mar. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452163901. POP
K-Gr 2—This bedtime story comes to life comically through dialogue between what readers might assume to be an unseen parent and child. Using two distinct font styles and imaginative illustrations, the exchange begins with an adult voice, "Once upon a time, there was a Big Bunny," while a curious, scary-story-seeking child interjects questions onto the story line. Instead of stifling the child's inquisitiveness, the adult attempts to make the story exciting by describing the bunny eating hundreds of carrots, adding trucks (and truckloads of carrots), bridges, and more—but as the narrative begins to bore the child, the adult proclaims, "Fine…you tell it." In the child's version, Big Bunny quickly begins eating up the story's trucks, the bridge, and buildings, but then, in a near final page turn, readers realizes that the parent and child telling this story are actually heads of lettuce. Watkins's muted illustrations, in watercolor and pencil, are both helpful and playful; they inventively express the creative mayhem of a little lettuce's imagination.
VERDICT This clever story within a story will perplex and intrigue young readers. With "ginormous" read-aloud appeal, this title is highly recommended for picture book collections.

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