June 23, 2017

BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney, illustrated by Carmen Saldana

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:02 am by suebe2

by Andrea J. Loney
illustrated by Carmen Saldana
Albert Whitman and Company

Obviously, it is bear week here at Bookshelf.  Why not?  If they can have shark week, we can have bear week.

Not that BunnyBear is typical.  Yes, he’s furry and shaggy and can be super loud.  But when he’s alone, he loves to bounce, wiggle his nose, and nibble on strawberries.The other bears didn’t understand.  They told him to catch fish and eat meat and act like a bear.

On the lookout for someplace he can truly belong, BunnyBear spots a bunny.  He follows the bunny down a rabbit hole and into the warren.  But it wasn’t exactly a flawless entrance and one of the adult bunnies sends him away.

But this time BunnyBear isn’t alone.  He’s being followed.  She may look like a bunny but she’s burly and loud and eats whatever she wants. To her surprise, BunnyBear immediately recognized that, yes, in spite of her cotton tail, she is a bear.  ‘You just look one way on the outside and feel another way on the inside. That’s okay,” he tells her.

Can I just say WOW.  There’s more to the story but even this much is so powerful.  It is a story about inclusivity without once mentioning . . . whatever.  It could be about religion or gender or culture or bunnies and bears.  Of course, it is just this inclusivity that will set some people free.  That said, this is a book that belong on every book shelf.

It is a top choice for the child who just doesn’t feel understood, who questions whether she belongs.  And, in truth, haven’t we all felt that way at one time or another?

Carmen Saldana’s illustrations are silly and cartoony without being too silly are cartoony.  They allow you to giggle as BunnyBear squeezes into the warren without making the whole thing utterly ridiculous.  Yet they aren’t too silly because they contribute perfectly to the sweet vibe of this story.

Share it with the readers in your life and be prepared for a conversation about acceptance, belonging and the assumptions that people make.


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