Clara Vulliamy

(HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Martha is so excited, because today is a very special day: it is Martha’s first day at school! But before she goes off on this new adventure, there are so many things to do, such as choosing her outfit and packing her bag. Meanwhile her two little brothers feel left out; what will they do with Martha out at school all day? Martha comes up with a great idea: a Happy Bunny Club, with membership badges and all! Will this be enough to keep the bunny brothers happy?

“Pure sunshine in picture book format” is how the publisher describe this new series from Clara Vulliamy, and how very true it is. I © School oozes happiness and sisterly love and has buckets of energy.  Bright colours burst out of the page and the scrapbook-style layout of the spreads make this book very child-friendly as well as stylish and attractive. You can really feel that Clara Vulliamy has fun when she is creating her books.  It is the same with her Bear with Sticky Paws series: busy and slightly mad, with lots going on in the story and on the page, but so much fun and so full of glee!

In I © School , little readers will enjoy getting involved in the story by helping Martha choose what to wear, what to put in her bag, what to put in the den, etc.  Though it is primarily a gentle story about starting school, I © School  also tackles a subject that is often forgotten: the feelings of younger siblings left behind while their brother or sister goes off to school for the first time. This inclusive take on the subject will therefore be lovely to read to all of the family’s children together, allowing all involved parties to share the story together and maybe bring some concerns to light. The scrapbook style of the spreads could even become an inspiration to create something similar, maybe to ease the transition. No doubt that any child reading this book will want to start their own version of the Happy Bunny Club too. I © School encourages using one’s imagination and creativity, and the story can be used as inspiration for many fun crafty activities.

I © School  is a beautifully crafted, fun, interactive and very child-friendly book. Clara Vulliamy, hands-down, draws the cutest rabbits ever.

 If your heart does not melt at the sight of these rabbits, I think that frankly, there is something not quite right with you! Look at this one, it lives permanently on my kitchen dresser!

Keep an eye out for the Happy Bunny Club on Clara’s blog!

All illustrations  © Clara Vulliamy

Many thanks to HarperCollins Children’s Book for sending me a copy of “Martha and the Bunny Brothers: I © School “.