My niece, nephew, and I have read and enjoyed Ugly Fish
and Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars
by Kara LaReau
, so I thought this book would probably be entertaining.
My niece and I had the same immediate aversion to the pictures in this book, which was a little surprising to me, since they were done by Scott Magoon
, who illustrated several books that we loved the illustrations in. Frankly, Rabbit, and especially Squirrel, are well, a little freaky looking. I think my first response was, "Ew. That's kind of gross." My niece's response was, "Ugh. Why do they look all... Halloween-y?" Yeah, great question, because it would be a lot easier to focus on the message in this story if the main characters weren't so distractingly hideous.
As for that message, well, I'm not really sure what it was. It's bad to fight, but maybe someday the people who fight will get over themselves? It's bad to fight, but in war there are no easy answers? It's bad to fight, but we don't know if there will ever be a happy ending? War is stupid--can't we all just get along? All of that? I guess this leaves the door open for discussion about war, which is the only reason I'm giving this book two stars and not one. The book has lots of potential to be a discussion starter, but only if you and the kids can get past that freakish Rabbit and Squirrel. Obviously, my niece and I couldn't.