Babbit the blue rabbit lives with the Big One and the Little One, who can be a little scatty at looking after him. When he is kidnapped by the Witchy One during a lovely picnic, the girls don’t even notice at first. But when they do, it’s already too late! Naughty Witchy, Growly, Snappy and Snorty already have the cauldron ready to go and planning which bits of Babbit they will eat! That lot really don’t know how to play nicely! The Big One and the Little One manage to grab Babbit just in time, and it is a race to get back to the safety of the house; will Babbit’s day end happily, and will those meanies get their comeuppance for not playing nicely?
Inspired by her own daughters’ little rabbit, this new picture book by Lydia Monks is gorgeously illustrated and coloured, and great fun to read. A mix of illustration, using a limited palette but with a great combination of pin kand yellow, and collage (I love the use of leaves, and the lovely gingham material that Lydia favours), the artwork brings the imaginary world of children’s play to life very effectively. Lydia Monks’ style is vibrant, instantly recognisable and ever so child-friendly.
There are some naughty baddies and a little peril within the story (look at poor Babbit tied to a tree on the cover!) which bring a perfect dose of excitement for young readers and is tamed by the candy-coloured illustrations. I loved the fact that it is the little girls’ mother who saves the day by punishing the baddies; she will be seen by little readers both as someone who keeps her children safe but is fierce enough that baddies don’t want to mess with her. What a great message! I am sure that it is one that many a parent will welcome, as well as the message about the consequences of not playing nice.
Babbit is a great picture book for preschoolers – it is a great little adventure, with a familiar setting and characters and will be reminiscent of many of their playtimes. Supported by some great artwork, this is sure to be a hit with little readers.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for Lydia Monks’ Fabulous Five Feature!
All illustrations © Lydia Monks
Many thanks to Egmont for sending me a review copy of “Babbit”