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RABBIT COOKS UP A CUNNING PLAN

Author: Andrew Fusek Peters

Illustrator: Bruno Robert

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Child's Play, ©2008

Material: paperback

Summary: Mountain Lion ruled the forest, and all of the other animals were tired of being hunted. Somehow, some way, they wanted to live a more peaceful life. So they held a meeting, and decided that each day, one animal would make a meal for Lion. He would be filled with their dishes, so he wouldn't eat them. Lion agreed to the plan, but let them know that if he didn't like the food, he would eat the cook! When Rabbit forgot to cook his meal, he needed to think of something ... and quick! Would his plan work? This is a story of dealing with bullies and problem solving.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, playtime reading, early reader, read aloud book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Reading Level: 2.2

Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: At first our daughter was a little bit afraid to read this. The snarling tiger on the cover was intimidating to her. Then we read it, and giggled and laughed at the rabbit's plan.

Adult Reader Reaction: The story will remind you of a classic fable. The story is a clever (and tasty) twist on the outwit-the-bully theme. I also loved how it captured the idea that sometimes we are our "own worst enemy." The illustrations are well done and complement the story nicely.

Pros: Kids will cheer at rabbit's plan ... and then ask for lunch. The story draws on classic themes to craft a modern tale about our choices and weaknesses.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a book you'll likely read a number of times. It is one of those books that you can enjoy for the story itself, create a story around the illustrations, or use it to study a particular story form.

If You Liked This Book, Try: WHEN BAT WAS A BIRD AND OTHER ANIMAL TALES FROM AFRICA   THE FIRST WELL & OTHER READ-ALONG STORIES (BookBox)   THE GIRAFFE WHO WAS AFRAID OF HEIGHTS

Educational Themes: The story's presentation offers opportunities to talk about a number of things, from bullies and being mean, to bossiness, pride, egotism, anger, and the pitfalls that go with those emotions. For older readers, it's an opportunity to explore fables. It would be fun to see how many of Aesop's fables are woven into this story.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.2

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal stories, bullying

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

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