A wickedly funny allegory for today’s post-truth era.

THE RABBITS' REBELLION

A narcissistic Wolf King insists that rabbits don’t exist in this allegory.

Originally published in England in 2001 and in North America for the first time with this edition, author/playwright/poet/essayist Dorfman’s story speaks clearly today. The book’s small trim and the abundant, adroit black-and-white illustrations throughout point to an audience of children. But the story, that of a ruthless, ignorant, vain Wolf King, who, after conquering the “land of the rabbits,” announces that rabbits have ceased to exist (even though they haven’t), works on a second level as well. On the surface, the story is amusing. Despite the King’s insistence that there are no rabbits, the photographs that he has hired an elderly monkey photographer to take in order to record “each important act in my life” (“and all my acts…are supremely important,” he states) turn out to have rabbits peeking slyly from the margins. Even as the Wolf King goes to ever crueler lengths to assert his kingly authority and to have grander and tougher-appearing photos of himself circulated, the rabbits in the photos become more numerous and bolder. The exhausted monkey, bullied by the King’s counsellor, tries vainly to erase all the rabbits. The adults in the story obey in fear, but the daughter of the elderly monkey speaks the truth about rabbits: “Everybody knows they exist.”

A wickedly funny allegory for today’s post-truth era. (Fantasy. 4-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60980-937-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

Celebrate a truly accepting multicultural character.

LOLA LEVINE IS NOT MEAN!

From the Lola Levine series , Vol. 1

Brown introduces a smart, young protagonist with a multicultural background in this series opener for chapter-book readers.

Second-grader Lola Levine is half-Peruvian and half-Jewish; she is a skilled soccer player, a persuasive writer, and aspires to own a cat in the near future should her parents concede. During a friendly recess soccer match, Lola, playing goalie, defends an incoming ball by coming out of her box and accidentally fouls a classmate. And so Lola acquires the rhyming nickname Mean Lola Levine. Through Lola’s first-person narration, readers see clearly how her savvy and creativity come from her family: Dad, who paints, Mom, who writes, and a fireball younger brother. She also wears her bicultural identity easily. In her narration, her letters to her friends, and dialogue, Lola easily inserts such words as diario, tía, bubbe, and shalom. For dinner, the family eats matzo ball soup, Peruvian chicken, and flan. Interspersed throughout the story are references to all-star soccer athletes, from Brazilian master Pelé to Mia Hamm, Briana Scurry, and David Beckham. Dominguez’s black-and-white illustrations are cheery and appealing, depicting a long-haired Caucasian father and dark-skinned, black-haired mother. Typefaces that emulate penmanship appropriately differ from character to character: Lola’s is small and clean, her mother’s is tall and slanted, while Juan’s, the injured classmate, is sloppy and lacks finesse.

Celebrate a truly accepting multicultural character. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-25836-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more