With the Easter holiday right around the corner I decided to talk about two books today, one my son already has, one he will be getting in his Easter basket, and both star bunnies or hares as their main characters!
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is about Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare and how much they love each other. Sounds pretty simple right?
Little Nutbrown Hare starts off by spreading his arms wide and telling his Daddy that he loves him "This much!" while spreading his arms out as wide as he can manage! Of course, Big Nutbrown Hare, being a big nutbrown hare, has bigger arms and can spread his arms even wider, which he does while telling his baby "But I love you this much!"...which sends Little Nutbrown Hare thinking...
There follows a competition of sorts between Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, as Little Nutbrown Hare keeps thinking of ways he loves Big Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare keeps telling him that he loves him back. As tall as he can hop, as far as he can see, as tall as he can reach...and even all the way to the moon!
I have read reviews that say it is a unhealthy, competitive book that teaches children that love is a competition and that their love for their parents is not enough. I can truly say that I can see how people would see it like that, and if that is the attitude you have while reading it to your child, how a child could feel that way while listening. I didn't see it that way the first time I read it however, instead I saw a baby and their parent playing a game that I have heard many children and parents play...the "I love you more game"...which I have never seen as competitive but more as a way of expressing something in words that can't possibly be expressed. Like most parents, in the end, Big Nutbrown Hare lets Little Nutbrown hare fall asleep thinking he has won, whispering to his sleeping son that he loves him to the moon...and back, expressing one of the great truths in life. That parents will always love their children more than anything, and that our children will never understand this until they have children of their own.
While I can see why people wouldn't like this book, I love it. The illustrations by Anita Jeram are beautiful, though not with a lot of color or contrast, which might not hold the attention of younger readers who like more color and flash. It is still a book I highly recommend, but you will have to know your child to know if they will be interested in it or if it will be better to wait until they are a little older.
If you would like to know more about author Sam McBratney please feel free to read more here or visit his page on the Harper Collins website.
Bunny My Honey, which was written and illustrated by Anita Jeram (who illustrated Guess How Much I Love You) is about another long eared family, Mommy Rabbit and her baby, Bunny. Bunny, who Mommy Rabbit calls Bunny, my Honey.
Mommy Rabbit, as mommy rabbits do, taught Bunny all the things little rabbits need to know. She taught him to hop and twitch his nose and stomp his big old feet. And sometimes, when Bunny's games with his little friends ended in tears, Mommy Rabbit was always there to wipe away his tears as mommy rabbits (and humans) do.
One day, quite without meaning to, Bunny gets lost in the woods, and no matter how hard he tries he can't seem to find his way out again. Scared and alone he starts calling for the one person who is dearest to him, the person who calls him her Honey...his Mommy. Mommy rabbit does just what a mommy rabbit should, and finds and comforts her scared little Bunny Honey.
It is a cute story with beautiful illustrations, which is why it made its way into my son's Easter basket this year. I think that it might bore older children because it really is a simple little tale without too much detail and "fluff", but it is a book I think that my son and other young children will adore. The pictures are beautiful and colorful and the story is sweet for a mother and child to share together. It is one I would recommend reading yourself before spending the money, just in case you feel it will not hold the interest of your child.
If you want to know more about Anita Jeram or her beautiful illustrations, please visit her website.
Thank you for reading!