Written by Kate Klise
Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
$17, ages 4-8, 32 pages
A grumpy little rabbit tries to pass off his mother as a scary circus act after she grounds him for not doing what she says.
The only problem is, she doesn't look at all like the act he's promised, and now Little Rabbit has nothing terrible to show the circus crowd.
Or does he?
In this adorable picture book, Little Rabbit tries to get back at his mother for not taking him to the circus, then realizes she's the last person he wants to hurt.
One day, while building a castle in his playroom, Little Rabbit hears a circus parading into town and scampers out to the sitting room to ask his mother if they can go.
His mother tells him, "Of course," if he cleans up his playroom -- after all, he hasn't put anything away all day and his clothes are tumbling out of drawers.
With toys sprawled across two pages, readers see how one project distracted Little Rabbit from another and he hurried to play everything he could.
His trail of play moves from paper cut-outs to opened storybooks, painted rocks, stacked cards, leafy branches and even a "Mold-O-Meter," a cardboard contraption to view gross stuff under his work table.
But instead of tidying things up, Little Rabbit only moves the mess around. Even he knows it doesn't look any better.
"It's hopeless," he harrumphs, secretly wondering if his mother will bail him out and let him see the show.
But instead, Mom tells him the circus will have to wait for another day and calmly walks out of the room.
Little Rabbit can't believe his long ears. He climbs onto a mound of clay he's molded on his worktable and, in a fit of anger, yells out the door, "I never get to do anything fun!"
He's now so mad he can barely express how awful she is and in a huff, he jumps out his window and runs off to join the circus.
That'll show Mom.
But to get into tonight's show, he'll need an act and what better draw than the Meanest Mother on Earth? You know, that awful one back home?
The ringmaster tells Little Rabbit if he can sell 100 tickets to see his scary mom, he'll be a shoe in for the final act.
That afternoon Little Rabbit bounds around town, pitching his mother as the act see. She, of course, has no idea what he's up to.
He tells everyone that his mother has sprouted another head just to bark out more ways to punish him (for no good reason).
Not only that, she's got big green teeth and won't hesitate to bite off your tail if you look at her the wrong way.
Before long, a skunk, a moose, a giraffe, ducks, a fox, a donkey and more have lined up to buy tickets and Little Rabbit's become quite verbose.
"Don't miss your chance to see this Mysterious Marvel of a Maternal Monstrosity," he yells, waving his arms in a grand gesture from the ticket booth.
Then with one hour to spare, Little Rabbit bounds back home to finagle his mom to come back with him.
He tells her that he has a big surprise waiting for her -- no it's not a clean room. Still, she agrees to let him blindfold her and soon Little Rabbit is pulling her along to the big top.
But when they get into the ring and the blindfold comes off, a hush comes over the crowd. Where are the heads and the terrible teeth Little Rabbit promised?
Soon everyone on the bleachers is pelting peanuts at Little Rabbit and his mother, and demanding their money back.
But wait, who's this ferociously maternal woman waving her blindfold in the air?
With Little Rabbit clinging to her waist, Mother Rabbit calms the crowd and steals back the spotlight.
"Wait!" she cries. "I'll show you all something guaranteed to terrify."
But will the circus-goers get their money's worth?
Sweetly told, adorably illustrated and filled with giggles, this is the perfect distraction for any little procrastinator who digs in his heels.
Before you get to a standoff, pull him aside to read this gem and it might just reset his outlook, at least long enough to give his room another try.
For more wonderful adventures with Little Rabbit, check out Why Do You Cry?: Not a Sob Story, Shall I Knit You A Hat?: A Christmas Yarn, Little Rabbit and the Nightmare and Imagine Harry.