Monday, February 10, 2014
Lion vs. Rabbit, by Alex Latimer
Author: Alex Latimer
Publication Date: September 16, 2013
View on Amazon
This is one of the funniest books I've read in a while. As I was reading it aloud to Magda I could hear her dad laughing loudly behind us. This is definitely not just another "let's deal with bullying" book. The combination of the story and pictures is so laugh-out-loud hilarious that I can't wait to read it a dozen more times. And if you've got a preschooler in your house like I do, you know that I'll probably have to. So any book that's as fun for grown ups as it is for kids is a major find.
The plot is a simple one, though still filled with surprises. There's an animal bully and all the other animals are sick of it. Lion is mean to everyone. He put a sign on Zebra's back that said "I am a horse." He stole Hyena's lunch monkey (yes, lunch monkey). They all want him to stop (please) but no one wants to take him on. Instead they post an ad offering 100 bucks (mostly gazelle) to anyone who can make Lion stop bullying.
After several failed attempts by various contenders (including a moose who loses to Lion in a fencing duel), Lion is indeed defeated by--you guessed it--a rabbit. How does Rabbit accomplish this? Well, I won't give that away. But it's clever and delightful.
My favourite part: Everything. Everything is my favourite part.
Magda's favourite part: When the Lion turned green from eating too many marshmallows. How many marshmallows is too many? [I sense she'd like to do a field test.]
Mike (aka Magda's dad)'s favourite part: The fact that the message is that if you work together you can take on a seemingly impossible task, but that it doesn't come right out and say that. Instead it shows it. Plus it's hilarious.
Final thoughts: It's like Aesop's Fables meets Mélanie Watt (of Scaredy Squirrel fame). And the bar has definitely been raised WAYYYY higher for any books that want to talk about bullying in a preschool picture book. A+++