Today’s book review is for Lion Vs. Rabbit, by Alex Latimer, published by Peachtree Publishers. I received a free copy of this book in a giveaway held by the publisher.
Lion is a big bully. He gives wedgies and steals from the other animals. And he gets away with it, because he’s stronger than the other animals. Fed up with his behavior, the animals put up an advertisement for someone to make Lion stop bullying them. When neither a bear, a moose, or a tiger are able to beat Lion, things start to look bleak. But then, Rabbit arrives on the scene–with a clever plan. Lion is sure that he can beat Rabbit at any contest–but instead Rabbit seems to be winning at everything. Defeated, Lion agrees to stop bullying the other animals and never bullies anyone again. Lion Vs. Rabbit is a humorous story about how sometimes a little cleverness can take down even the mightiest of foes.
Latimer writes in clear prose that is easy and fun to read aloud. The dialog portions of the text have the sound of actual children’s conversations–particularly all of Lion’s excuses. I think that any child who has faced bullying will relate to the frustrations of the other animals. Moreover, I think that they’ll cheer as Rabbit wins in competition after competition. Best of all, I think they’ll appreciate not getting bogged down in complicated language or superfluous literary device. In this case, simple and clear is perfect. It keeps your attention on the story itself.
It’s the illustrations that really make this book great, though. Latimer uses a cartoonish style with simplified body shapes and small dot eyes that corresponds to the humorous nature of the story. His little details are a delight. From Buffalo’s underpants to Cobra’s “Medusa” brand shampoo, there are plenty of touches of humor to keep adults and astute children giggling at the pictures.
This was a wonderfully fun book to read with my daughter. Since the first read, she’s requested it several more times. Fortunately, she’s still young and hasn’t experienced bullying–but I think she can still appreciate the theme of someone little triumphing over someone bigger. This book can provide an opportunity to talk about an important children’s issue, or it can be enjoyed as an entertaining story. Either way, it’s a great book and I’m giving it 5 stars.
You can find more information about this book, including other reviews, at Goodreads.