Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review - Bunny's Staycation (Mama's Business Trip)

Bunny's Staycation (Mama's Business Trip)
by Lori Richmond
Date: 2018
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Mama's suitcase is packed for an important business trip. But it's Mama's turn to read bedtime stories! Bunny does not like Mama leaving one bit. If he can just figure out how to keep her home... or maybe he can go with her! But Papa and Bunny have a better idea. They set off on a grand adventure... in the living room. And kitchen. And bathtub. Bunny's Staycation is the perfect book for every family with travel-for-work Mamas or Papas. Kids and parents will laugh, cheer, and celebrate the wonders -- and happy challenges -- faced by families who are juggling the joys of stay-at-home fun and business trips.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The premise of this book is kind of cute. The execution? Not so much. There are three things that bugged me about this book, and that diminished my enjoyment of the story.

First, there's Wednesday's expedition to "a wintry wonderland". What the heck is Papa thinking, teaching his child to cool off the kitchen by leaving the freezer door open? Mama's going to choke when she comes back and sees the electricity bill. (We should be teaching kids about conserving power... not how to waste it.)

Second, the author's insistence on using two tenses in the writing. The narrative is present tense, while the dialogue is past tense. Get artsy on your own time; don't do it in a children's book where kids might just be learning about verb tenses. This will just confuse them!

Third, the way Papa is portrayed. Aside from wasting electricity, he's kind of useless as a guardian. He comes off as a playmate rather than a dad (even proudly showing off the mess that Mama's going to have to clean up just seconds after she steps through the door). No wonder Bunny misses Mama! He probably doesn't feel very secure being watched by a man-child.

The illustrations are cute and colourful, and while I thought the premise could work (and I still do, given some changes), it doesn't quite get there.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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