Bunny's First Spring

illus. by David McPhail. 32p. Zonderkidz. Feb. 2015. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780310733867. LC 2014030824.
PreS-K—When Bunny arrives in the world, it is teeming with life. Lambs, little chicks, and even songbirds building nests add to the excitement. As days pass, crops and baby animals grow. But eventually the young rabbit's coat gets thicker and the apple tree loses its leaves. Bunny is worried and he asks, "Are you sick?" More changes are in the air, too. The bunny thinks, "The beautiful earth must be dying." A woodpecker and an owl try to reassure the bunny, and so does the plant life that looks withered or gone. For example, the lost flowers croon a message of hope. They try and let the bunny know they aren't gone forever. Eventually, he snuggles into the burrow with his parents. When he wakes up, the world is alive again. The story ends with a paraphrased quote from theologian Martin Luther, "God has written the promise of new life not just in books alone but in every leaf in springtime." McPhail captures the beauty of the seasons in vibrant greens, yellows, and other colors. His paintings set the lovely tone of the story. Most of the images of the little bunny are realistically drawn, yet he conveys emotion that a child can glean. For example, his facial expressions show his joy in spring and confusion in fall.
VERDICT This seasonal story will have broad appeal for preschool teachers as well as young children and their parents.

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