Friday, December 10, 2010

19. Silly Rabbits

The Rabbit Problem, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Simon & Schuster, $17.99, ages 4-8, 32 pages. Here's a problem that will overflow your kids' minds and have them imploring, "Please, please, please, can I have that problem too?" Standing before a blackboard that fills out the cover of Gravett's hilarious book, a rabbit with chalk in his paw ponders the greatest question known to rabbits:  How many of us can we get from just two of us in a calendar year? I.e. The Rabbit Problem. "If a pair of baby rabbits are put into a field, how many pairs will there be: 1) At the end of each month? b) After one year?" Gravett elaborates inside the cover. Well, let's see. First we'll have to jump into the rabbit hole that Gravett has thoughtfully cut into the back of the first page. And then, we'll have to watch the months roll by. In this charming ode to rabbit fertility, whimsically set up like a calendar (with actual holes for hanging the book right through its hard covers), Gravett takes us through each of the 12 calendar months to find the answers.

We begin in January with one lonely rabbit -- who luckily has had the smarts to pencil an invitation to any bunny who will read it. Pasted to the table of days, it reads, "Join me! Where? The Field Why? To be my friend. When? Right now!" As luck would have it, by February this forward little fellow has found a friend to snuggle up with; they're even knitting matching tops in carrot orange and cream wool. Come March, as you might expect, the first two bouncing bunnies arrive, and as the months roll by, well, the rabbits multiply like rabbits. But how will they deal with inclement weather, hunger, marauding crows, the heat, a bumper crop of carrots, bulging tummies and that nagging issue of overcrowding?And where's that rabbit hole when you need it? Every calendar page is marked with important rabbit reminders, and every other has a handy little pamphlet for dealing with their growing problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment