Lisa McCue's Quiet Bunny
Book review by Sherri Trudgian
Everyone has a voice!
Once again I’ve been sucked in by a front cover. Who could possibly resist a fluffy bunny with floppy ears, oversized feet and a pink nose? Lisa McCue’s Quiet Bunny is adorable. The text and illustrations are both soft and gentle, appealing to young children.
Puppies bark, kittens mew, but what sound does a bunny make? If I were to ask my grandson Andrew, he would simply wiggle his nose. After all bunnies don’t make a noise, or do they?
Quiet Bunny has an ear, or should I say two floppy ears for music. He loves the sounds of the forest. During the day he listens to the “tWeet, tWeet” of the happy birds and the “shhhhh” of the rustling leaves. However, his favorite time is just after sunset when the meadow breaks out into its “night song”. As the moon starts to rise, Quiet Bunny can be found leaning back against the soft grass, ears spread wide listening to the chorus of crickets, owls, mosquitoes, and bullfrogs. Even wolf can be heard howling at the moon. It’s a cacophony of voices all contributing to the “night song”. Quiet Bunny soooo wants to join the chorus but he has a problem. Quiet Bunny doesn’t have a voice. Every time he opens his mouth there’s nothing – just an empty silence.
Quiet Bunny wishes on the first star of the evening.
“Tonight I will make a wish. I wish for a sound so that I can sing in the night song.”
Next morning Quiet Bunny opens his mouth to sing with the birds. Instead of “tWeet- tWeet”, there is nothing. At the edge of the pond he tries to puff up his throat like the bull frog and bellow “croak, croak”. There is silence. He tries to imitate the “SsssSssSSs” of the forked tongue snake basking in the sun but his little pink bunny tongue makes no sound. With his head thrown back he tries to “Lululuululu” like the loon wading in the rushes. He is unable to “HmmMmmmMm” like the hummingbirds, “grrrrrrrrrrrrr” like the bear cub or “BzZzzzzZzzz” like the bees.
Saddened that his wish hasn’t come true, Quiet Bunny heads back to the meadow. On the way he hears “Wha Wha Wha” coming from the wings of a quick little bat. He sees crickets rubbing their hind legs together to make a “chCheet chCheet” sound. Quiet Bunny tries to copy them by flapping his ears’n paws and rubbing his oversized feet together. Still, no sound emanates from his body.
Owl, who is perched in a tree observing, passes along some wise advice. “You are a Quiet Bunny. Be whoooooo you are, and you will find your own bunny sound.”
Quiet Bunny likes to listen, watch, sniff and hop. On his way back to the meadow he trips over a big hollow log with a “Thump”. He taps his foot on the log. “Thump, Thump, Thump.” He does have a sound! Quiet Bunny is so excited he starts to dance tapping out a beat. All the forest creatures join him as the “night song” rings out into the darkness.
Lisa McCue ends her story …
“Next time you go outside on a warm summer night, listen closely. You just might hear Quiet Bunny leading the night song.”
Lisa McCue’s Quiet Bunny presents a symphony of sounds. She has created an “interactive story that targets sounds for early speech development and pre-reading/reading skills.”
Her detailed illustrations can be used by parents to identify a plethora of insects and animals. The pages are filled with bluebirds, squirrels, ladybugs, bees, frogs, mosquitoes, and fireflies. The larger animals such as her fawn, bear cub and young wolf are all gentle creatures – not too scary for preschoolers. Your child will also have fun counting the different creatures on each page.
Lisa employs a wide color palette for her flora and fauna. The deep green ferns, purple violets, and pink apple blossoms contrast well with the whites of the Queen Anne’s lace.
The overriding lesson learned in Quiet Bunny is to be oneself – because everyone has a voice. Although the age level cited is 4 – 8 years, the creatures are so gentle and loveable that I would have no qualms about recommending it for a younger child.
Read more of Sherri's reviews.
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