Shy Willow

Levine Querido. Feb. 2021. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781646140350.
PreS-K–Willow, a white rabbit, lives in an abandoned mailbox where she draws sketches and feels safe from the world. When a letter drops in the mailbox with a special birthday request addressed to the moon from a boy named Theo, Willow knows she must deliver it in spite of her fears. Willow ventures out, testing her courage and making many failed attempts to reach the moon, jumping high, climbing a mountain, and even hitching a ride on a bird. Finally, she sacrifices pages from her sketchbook to fashion a balloon to float up to the moon and successfully deliver the letter. The moon rewards her by fulfilling the request to shine brilliantly for Theo’s mother. Willow basks in her deed, and “the warmth of the moonlight spread through Willow’s chest.” Pencil illustrations provide detail, while soft washes of watercolor in twilight colors of pink, blue, and lavender create a soothing palette, though the outline of Willow in red strikes an odd note. Sketches from Willow’s notebook adorn the endpapers and provide a window into Willow’s fears and newfound friendship with Theo.
VERDICT A shy rabbit shows bravery and ingenuity in a story that addresses shyness and determination. An additional purchase.

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