Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field

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Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habbits by Julian Gough and Jim Field

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The first in a new series suggests that this might be something quite special. It's a pleasure to read and will be loved by boys and girls. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 112 Date: January 2016
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444929317

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When Bear wakes up early from her hibernation, she decides that if she can't sleep then she might as well do something which she's always wanted to do - build a snowman. It's whilst she's doing this that she meets Rabbit, who tells her that he's an Expert in Gravity. Whatever he is, it doesn't seem to make him particularly happy as he never smiles and isn't exactly big on fun. But there are avalanches around as well as hungry wolves and Rabbit soon comes to the conclusion that it's good to have a friend on your side - even if you have just stolen their food.

I love the fact that Bear is female. So often the single animal of any species in a story is male and even if there are both sexes present, as in this case, the larger animal is almost inevitably male: it's good to see the reverse in this case. There's lots else to love about the book too. It's gently educational but not sanctimoniously so. The basics of gravity are there - it's easier to roll a snowball down a hill than to push one up it - and you'll understand why rabbits eat their own poo. (It's nourishing to eat the poo on its first circuit through the body, but eating it after it's been through twice? Well, that would be disgusting.)

It's funny. Even as an adult I smiled at quite a few things and it's a book which you won't struggle to like after you've been through it quite a few times. But it's not just a book to read to a child - the clear font makes it ideal for an emerging reader and the good quality paper means that there's no bleed-through from the reverse of the page which can distract a learner or someone suffering from dyslexia. In fact, if a white background (which is occurs on some pages, but is matt rather than gloss) is not a problem for your dyslexia sufferer then this book might be a help. There are plenty of gorgeous illustrations to break up the text and provide a clue for the odd difficult word - although the vocabulary is not overly challenging.

It's a good story too - there's mild peril to add a little spice, but not so much as to cause a problem. The reason for Rabbit's bad manners is clearly explained and Rabbit does understand that stealing someone else's food is wrong, so no one is going to go away from the book with the wrong idea. It's the first book in a series and is sure to become a firm favourite. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Children who enjoy this book might also appreciate another story about a bear: Finding Winnie: The Story of the Real Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall.

Buy Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field at Amazon.com.


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