Newbie is a Rescue Bunny trainee.
Doreen Cronin is a children’s book author who realizes that her audience includes parents.
Parents, who are often forced to read the same bedtime book, every.single.night. over and over and over again… and “Please, just one more time, Mommy! Puh-leeeeeeeeze!”
Fortunately, I am not that mom any more. My first grader’s school entrance exam placed her firmly at a high third/low fourth grade reading level, so now she entertains me with her favorite stories at bedtime.
Ah, bittersweet justice!
Enter Cronin’s new picture book, Rescue Bunnies. The award-winning author of Click, Clack, Moo is at it again, but this time she’s got bunnies on the brain.
Each night my little bunny hops into bed with her fire-engine red Rescue Bunnies book and starts to unravel the tale of Newbie and her quest to become an official emergency rescuer.
As the book tells it, Newbie’s passed the Physical Fitness Test, and the Emergency Rescue Roping Test. She has even passed the Blind Taste Test. However, the Field Test still eludes her.
While Newbie waits for her time to shine, readers watch as the bunny-in-training executes menial tasks, such as alphabetizing spices and then rappelling down the rack.
Finally, rescue day arrives and Newbie is put to the test. A giraffe is stuck in the mud and needs help—-fast!
Initially, the Rescue Bunnies set off a la the “Wonder Pets” (minus the drive-you-to-the-verge-of-insanity theme song), but soon, pint-sized readers realize that this is no ordinary animal rescue book.
Cronin peppers the pages with 101 memorable movie one-liners. (Okay, maybe there weren’t that many, but enough to keep adults snickering.) From “You can’t handle the truth!” to “I’m the King of the World!” and “Here’s looking at you kid,” the best-selling author doesn’t cater to a single demographic in her latest HarperCollins release.
In fact, the entire book is rather refreshing that way. This is not a sappy “Go, Diego! Go!” animal rescue. Rather, the book combines a standard kiddie-themed saga with a healthy dose of subliminal zingers and not-so stealthy asides that most adults will appreciate.
Bottom line: Rescue Bunnies is the perfect read for kids and parents alike. What’s more, it features fabulously crisp, clean and uncluttered illustrations by Scott Menchin.
I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say that the hyenas in the story don’t get the last laugh.
If you want to find out if Newbie makes the grade and graduates to official Rescue Bunny, then hop over to HarperCollins.com or your local book store. Then, tell me if you enjoy Cronin’s crazy characters as much as I do.