Small Bunny's Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney

Lynn:  I’m willing to wager that most parents have stories about their small children and blankets – very special blankets.  Both my sons and my twin grandsons had blankets that were essential to any hope of putting them to bed at night.  Their “B’s” got dragged everywhere!  They would have loved Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket (Random/Knopf 2012).

Small Bunny LOVES his blue blanket and he takes it everywhere he goes and involves it in everything he does.  It doesn’t take much imagination to guess the state of blue blanket after a while and Small Bunny’s mother decides they both need a bath.  Even though Small Bunny disagrees, they both get washed and dried.  And, oh the wait while Blue Blanket is being washed is endless!  There is a happy ending of course, as Small Bunny finally gets Blue Blanket back to the way it was before.

I was just enchanted by this book that deals so perfectly with such a universal experience.  Feeney’s illustrations are very simple ink line drawings with swatches of blue for the blanket.  There is a lot of white space that focuses the reader’s eye on the central figures.  Feeney’s few lines are amazingly expressive.  My favorite page may be the nine small squares the show Small Bunny’s back as he anxiously peers through the washing machine window.

This is a perfect lap book for small children  – and THEIR blue blankets.

Cindy: I think my favorite spread shows Small Bunny hiding under his bed with his bunny tail and his blanket sticking out as he tries to avoid the inevitable washing of his blue blanket. But, it’s hard to choose. I love the use of white space on the page and the way the illustrations flow. The humor and the full range of Small Bunny’s emotions are expressed beautifully in the simple lines. This is truly a case of “less is more.” I read on the Random House website that Feeney is originally from North Carolina although she lives in Ireland now. Perhaps this IS eligible for the Caldecott then? Oooh, I hope so. And those of you who are making your gift lists…add this for any young child you know with a special blankie. It will be a hit.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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