Please Don’t Eat Me

Little, Brown. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316315258.
PreS-Gr 1–An innocuous bunny rabbit accidentally burrows into a bear’s lawn and pleads not to be eaten. Bear explains that he is quite hungry. So Bunny orders him a pizza. Then Bear wants dessert. So they share a milkshake. Then Bear wants to show off his bunny-eating prowess to his friends. So Bunny obligingly crawls into his mouth as Bear parades in front of some other bears. On and on it goes, until finally Bunny cannot bargain or put up with the nonsense anymore and just resigns itself to being eaten, even helpfully crawling into a salad bowl to aid Bear’s digestion. But it turns out that Bear doesn’t actually want to eat Bunny; he just wants a friend, and fortunately, he’s found one. A story in the spirit of Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, this tale relies on the enduring humor of a persistent and demanding character and a patient (until a certain point) companion. The typeface is modeled on the artist’s own handwriting and appears in speech bubbles over the two animals’ heads. The plucky and resourceful Bunny is forced to constantly come up with ways to circumvent Bear’s demanding hunger. Climo’s digitally created illustrations give the cartoon creatures very subtly expressive faces while the text does the heavy lifting, and the simple forest background lets the comedic interactions really shine.
VERDICT Hand to fans of Numeroff’s many books or read this for a raucous and silly preschool storytime.

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