Review of Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear

Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear
by Nadine Brun-Cosme; illus. by Olivier Tallec
Primary    Random House Studio/Random    40 pp.
2/23    9780593486986    $18.99
Library ed.  9780593486993    $21.99
e-book ed.  9780593487006    $10.99

Three besties—Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear—are always together, frolicking and having fun in their forest home throughout the seasons. While they are keen to explore, as a group the intrepid trio has never ventured down “the long, winding path.” One winter day, however, as Rabbit is learning to ice skate (but not yet how to stop), she finds herself alone and “barreling down the path, not knowing where she is headed.” She ends up in front of “the grandest fir tree she has ever seen.” Her first thought: “If only my friends were here to see this.” Once her worried pals find her, Rabbit excitedly shares her discovery, but it turns out that both Big Bear and Duck know the idyllic spot well. “I come here when I feel like being alone,” Big Bear says. Duck likes to visit the tree on still mornings and think. Rabbit is confused and hurt at first (“we do everything together”) but comes to understand the need for each of them to feel the tree’s restorative magic individually sometimes. ­Brun-Cosme’s spare, straightforward text captures the simple joys of childhood relationships and of growing up. Tallec’s pencil and acrylic paintings feature expressive cartoonlike animal characters in lush ­surroundings. Spot and sequential art add humor and energy to verdant, almost impressionistic landscapes. A smart and subtle glimpse at ­social-emotional learning and appreciation for the natural world.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Luann Toth
Luann Toth

Luann Toth is a former reviews editor at School Library Journal. She holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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