Fresh as a fiddlehead fern in spring, this beguiling bedtime tale features a pip of a young rabbit and his indulgent parent. Searching for words to tell his dad how much he loves him (and to put off bedtime just an eentsy bit longer), Little Nutbrown Hare comes up with one example after another ("I love you as high as I can hop!"), only to have Big Nutbrown Hare continually up the ante. Finally, on the edge of sleep, he comes up with a showstopper: "I love you right up to the moon." (Dad does top this declaration too, but only after his little bunny falls asleep.) Effused with tenderness, McBratney's wise, endearing and droll story is enriched by the near-monochromatic backdrop of Jeram's pen-and-wash artwork, rendered earthy tones of moss, soft brown and gray for a visually quieting effect just right for that last soothing tale before sleep. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)
PreS-Gr 1-McBratney continues to mine and model the positive parent/child communication that he presented so successfully in Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995). In four brief stories, he describes Little Nutbrown Hare's feelings and behavior as he explores the forest and fields. In the first tale, his favorite Hiding Tree has fallen during a storm. At first formidable in its new position, the tree proves irresistible during a game of hide-and-seek, and the youngster summons the courage to climb. A touch of anxiety surfaces again on Cloudy Mountain when not having heeded Big Nutbrown Hare's warning, he loses his bearings in the mist. Luckily Big Nutbrown Hare is nearby and doesn't contradict the small rabbit who exclaims, "You nearly got lost!" In the third story, the youngster is tempted to disobey but ultimately finds his inner voice as he recalls Big Nutbrown Hare's admonitions. The final chapter features a guessing game with a loving bedtime exchange. In each episode, the adult maintains the tricky balance between offering protection and freedom; the child starts to develop a sense of when it is appropriate to take risks as he remembers the consequences of previous decisions. The familiar halcyon watercolor-and-ink scenes, this time executed by Wagner and Tarbett "in the style of Anita Jeram," provide a good match for the gentle humor that pervades the dialogue. With a larger trim size and bright, white backgrounds, this book is sure to attract new fans to the popular series.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"There's not a wrong notein this tender tale.... Right up there with Goodnight Moon."