Sunbird. May 2021. 40p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781503758483.
PreS-Gr 1–Even the shyest of little lop-eared rabbits can come out of her shell with the right show of support. Nook likes to watch her classmates from the safety of a deep chair or a corner where there is always something firmly reassuring at her back. Her favorite outdoor spot is a hollow at the base of an elm tree, a refuge her friends call “Nook’s place” and where they do not trespass. Occasionally, they try to lure Nook into their games, but only Nook’s spirit joins them until the day a grumpy badger claims the elm for himself. Nook’s classmates gather close to defend her, and when the badger won’t budge, they escort her away to play with them. Seeing that her friends have her back, Nook no longer needs the sanctuary of the elm tree. This unusual and gentle story is sweetly captured in pictures that were created with pencil and computer but have the rough, papery texture of prints. Bear, fox, mouse, and squirrel with their pin-dot eyes and cheerful expressions exude kindness and well-being. Their acceptance and encouragement of Nook are as heartwarming as her newfound confidence.
VERDICT A quiet book that will speak generously to introverts and anyone who loves them.

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