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Ribbit Rabbit. Candace Ryan

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This delightful book is the perfect gift for toddlers

About the Author

Candace Ryan is also the author of Walker's Animal House. She spent nine years as a special education teacher, and now lives in Southern California with her husband and young son. Mike Lowery is an illustrator, fine artist and graphic designer. He is the illustrator of Jo Nesbo's Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder (a novel) and is also a professor of illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He lives in Atlanta, USA.


Ryan (Animal House) and Lowery introduce readers to best friends Bunny and Frog. The bipedal, boyish creatures share a wading pool ("Ribbit Rabbit. Dip it, dab it") and battle stacks of boxes that resemble "monsters" ("Ribbit Rabbit. Zip it, zap it"). They both covet Frog's clockwork robot ("Sometimes they fight over little things"), and when the robot's winding key pops off, Bunny swipes it ("Nip it, nab it") and Frog gets angry. They stubbornly march in opposite directions, each with a necessary component, only to realize they should put their friendship, and the robot, back together. They conclude with a unified "Rib-bot Rab-bot," dressed up as cardboard robots. Lowery (Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder), in pencil sketches and off-registered screen prints, creates deliberately clunky, imperfect illustrations that suggest children's drawings; pea-soup green Frog and lentil-brown Bunny have big round heads, small mouths, and long noodly limbs. Lowery's drab pastel palette suits the everyday topic and evokes a certain drabness, as though the friends are playing indoors on a gray day. Ryan's rhymed consonant-vowel pairings similarly follow a reliable pattern, generating a low-key energy. Ages 3-5. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

PreS-Gr 1-Frog and Bunny are best friends. They do everything together. "But they don't always get along." They fight, it escalates, and they are sad. Ultimately, each one takes the part of the toy they were fighting over, wraps it, and gives it as a gift, and the rift is mended. The story is nothing new. What makes Ryan's text unique is its simplicity. No page has more than two sentences, usually including "ribbit rabbit," along with another set of matched rhyming words describing the action. This economy of language makes it ideal for reading aloud or for beginning readers. However, the illustrations marry well with the text, and fill in the narrative where the writing leaves it open. The artwork is done in a simple, childlike fashion reminiscent of Bob Shea's work. The characters have round heads, square bodies, and simple limbs, with dot-eyes for Rabbit and googly ones for Frog. The digitally enhanced pencil, screen printed, and print gocco art has a soft, slightly dark palette leaning heavily on grays, blues, and greens. The text looks hand-lettered, with a lot of variety in style and size. The childlike artwork, common scenario, and minimalistic text are likely to appeal to a wide audience.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

`Ribbit, rabbit, grip it, grab it. Lovely rhythm that squabbling siblings will relate to' * Angels and Urchins *
`A bright, fun storybook filled with quirky illustrations' * Creative Steps *

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