Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 11/15/2010 While hopping along, an inquisitive, energetic bunny imagines taking on the qualities of the things he sees. Bouncing through the grass, he wonders what it would be like to be green. Then he pictures himself as tall as trees, as immovable as rocks, and as free-flying as a butterfly. Alternating spreads show the little rabbit in each imagined state: mossy green and camouflaged; peering over the top of a pine. When danger appears in the form of a far-off cat, he scurries home, where his mother welcomes him in a warm hug. In keeping with the style of Henkes’ most recent picture books, such as My Garden (2010), the colored-pencil-and-acrylic art combines thick outlines with vibrant hues, here mostly in a soothing palette of green that fits the nature setting and the comforting tone. Design touches also extend the story: white borders frame the rabbit’s real-world adventures, while spreads illustrating his fantasies burst out to the very edges of the book in images as big and full as his dreams. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2011 As a little white rabbit hops along, he wonders what it’s like to possess qualities apparent in various natural elements around him: to be green like the grass, tall like the fir trees, still like the rocks, etc. For each speculation, Henkes offers an illustration that literally interprets the rabbit’s fancies: the “green” spread finds the rabbit a pale spring green in a landscape entirely surrounded by green things; the “tall” spread finds him a giant, poking his head out over the forest trees; the “still” spread offers four sequential illustrations of a still stone rabbit unmoved amid the changing weather around him. The story then detours for a touch of humor (“When he hopped past the cat, he was too frightened to wonder anything”) and ends with a tender familial moment, cuddled up safe with his mama rabbit and siblings. As with his Caldecott-winning Kitten’s First Full Moon (BCCB 3/04), Henkes demonstrates a quiet mastery of conceptual perspective; audiences will be immediately drawn into the bunny’s excursion and begin to mentally picture the various imaginings along with the rabbit. The engaging text is simple and reflective, and it speaks perfectly to young listeners. The colored pencil and acrylic illustrations are pure spring, with predominant shades of green offset by touches of pastel pink, blue, and yellow. Square pages offer copious white space and a clean, attractive layout, and the large-scale pictures will register well with a crowd, especially youngsters at a baby storytime, who’ll appreciate the cuddly hero, accessible action, and appealing imaginative exploration. There is a note of comfort in the ending, suggesting that no matter how far the imagination may take you, you are always safe and loved in the place where you started, a welcome message to the dreamers in your own crowd. HM - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 02/01/2011 PreS—A quiet gem of a picture book about a small bunny with a big imagination. "When he hopped through the high grass, he wondered what it would be like to be green." Each burst of curiosity is followed by a spread of envisioning. For example, when he wonders what it would be like to be tall as a fir tree, readers are treated to a depiction of a huge rabbit leaning on the upper boughs of a hemlock, communing with the birds. In the tradition of Eric Carle's The Mixed-Up Chameleon (Crowell, 1975) and Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny (HarperCollins, 1942), Little White Rabbit is perfect for preschoolers. The colored pencil and acrylic illustrations in cheery springtime pastels have fuzzy textures and broad outlines that are enormously appealing. Henkes often manages to combine the static and kinetic so that his protagonist seems frozen in mid-leap. And just when you think this little rabbit has settled in for the night with his loving family, that lively curiosity reappears, ready to begin another adventure.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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