Friday, February 27, 2004

Dumb Bunnies

I had occasion yesterday to read this book: The Dumb Bunnies' Easter by Sue Denim. Well, actually, it was read to me by a friend's six-year-old daughter and I found it quite amusing.

The book was published by Scholastic in New York (1994) and distributed by Scholastic Canada. Its target audience is preschool to grade 3 (ages 4 - 8). The illustrations, by Dav Pilkey, are reminiscent of a comic-strip style and they are enjoyable.

The story employs a method that I favour and which is not always easily executed: teaching by humour. The rabbits mentioned make such obvious, gross errors about holidays and traditions that the young reader is reminded of what he or she has been taught: turkeys are carved but not like pumpkins, eggs are coloured but not with cans of spray paint and salads are tossed but not along with the bowl. A child's sense or judgment about what is right in his/her world is underscored, not belittled.

I also like the fact that the Bunny family is a spoof on the traditional "Goldilocks and The Three Bears" story. It conveys the message that children can, in fact, understand the abstract insofar as they will likely recognize the parallel story line to the traditional tale.

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