FICTION

Frankenbunny

illus. by Alice Brereton. 40p. Sterling. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781454921721.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—Spencer knows monsters aren't real, but can't help believing in Frankenbunny due to the constant torment from his two older brothers. He's brave when it's easy, like in the sunshine or when talking to his father, but not so much at bedtime when his brothers inform him that Frankenbunny loves to jump out of the closet. Esbaum's story is told in the second person, which is not often found in picture books, but might help some kids relate to the story of mean older kids taunting their younger sibling. The ending, in which Spencer frightens his brothers to get them to stop scaring him, will be a delight with some kids but probably won't help anyone that actually is faced with a similar problem, making it feel like a missed opportunity. Brereton's art makes the work shine; her cartoonish yet expressive design and use of dark backgrounds illustrate danger while helping the colors pop at just the right time—a similar approach to Peter Brown's award-winning Creepy Carrots.
VERDICT A solid addition to holiday shelves and any monster-themed storytime.

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