Lone wolf Edmond Bigsnout sets off from his country home to kill and eat a “city bunny”—and becomes enmeshed in a life-altering adventure.
From the start, the text and the masterful, mixed-media artwork are both funny and suspenseful. The elegantly dressed wolf strides across the autumn-tree–studded initial pages, sharp knife in carefully manicured paw, as he heads for his urban craving: “a grain-fed, silky-haired rabbit, one with just a hint of sweetness.” The wolf rides his bike to the city, soon finding an apartment building with a promising tenant for his culinary desires: “Max Omatose, miniature rabbit, 5th floor.” In his haste to reach said floor, Edmond leaves his knife in the elevator, where it is soon appropriated by a third-floor turkey. Edmond pedals back to the country, this time grabbing his chain saw. Each time he arrives with a different sinister tool, some other resident, thinking Edmond is a new tenant, gratefully borrows the tool. (Edmond may be bloodthirsty, but he is unfailingly polite.) By the time he has lugged a barbecue to the apartment house, the hungry lone wolf is greeted by the most come-hither–looking lupine lady in picture-book history: Miss Eyestopper. Edmond is still determined to eat that rabbit, but fate steps in and ensures a happy ending for everyone.
As funny and as exquisitely put together as Edmond Bigsnout himself. (Picture book. 4-9)
L'affiche que j'ai créé pour le festival du livre de jeunesse Le Petit Bouquinville à Bayonne en mai 2017.
Charlie, a rabbit who loves an established bedtime routine, grows grouchy when noisy animal neighbors disrupt his sleep.
Victorian clothes (Charlie even wears his bowler hat to bed!), dreary colors (cardboard browns, cement grays, faded blues), and antique objects (an iron bed, a Victrola, keyed roller skates) describe the rabbit’s quirky, austere lifestyle—one perhaps unsuited for intrusion or surprise. Just when Charlie finishes preparing for bed, doing the things he always does, in order, (glass of water on his bedside table, slippers on the rug, monster check under the bed, teddy-bear hug, one eye closed, then the other) a thunderous “TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP” jolts him awake. It’s Bird hammering on trees (with a hammer)—then it’s Squirrel crunching nuts, then Mouse squeaking on the swings. Double-page spreads with only the enormous, block-letter, onomatopoeic words stretching their length make the volume and intensity of the interruptions clear. Soon Charlie’s routine is hopelessly jumbled. Charlie’s eyes grow smudgy and ringed with dark circles. His rage mounts. Children involved with their own bedtime rituals will enjoy following the incremental dismantling of Charlie’s. Voicing Charlie’s confrontations with his neighbors and amping up the animals’ annoying sounds make for a delightful ruckus and funny read-aloud.
Sooty illustrations, dark humor, and deft pacing places this book on top of the stack. (Picture book. 3-6)