Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review - Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar

Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar
by Emily MacKenzie
Date: 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Some rabbits dream about lettuces and carrots, others dream of flowering meadows and juicy dandelions, but Ralfy dreams only of books. In fact, he doesn't just dream about them, he wants to read them ALL THE TIME. Soon his obsession sends him spiralling into a life of crime!

A wonderfully funny story from a talented new author/illustrator.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm baffled by the high rating this book has. The story starts out cute, but ends with a terrible message. I just can't condone books like this.

Ralfy is a rabbit who loves to read. He catalogues all of the books he's read, puts them in categories, makes lists of books to recommend, and just generally needs his own Goodreads account. I did enjoy seeing the rabbit-centric lists of books on his wall.

However, things get questionable really quickly when he starts breaking into people's houses to read their books. Soon, even that isn't enough, and he starts stealing the books. A little boy named Arthur notices when his favourite book goes missing, and soon the police are on the lookout for Ralfy.

Now, if the story had ended differently, I might've been more amenable to it. But, as it stands, there are zero consequences for Ralfy's criminal behaviour. Arthur feels sorry for him because he just loves books so much. Aside from ending up in a police lineup, Ralfy never experiences any punishment for his crimes. It appears that all is forgiven. Arthur even introduces Ralfy to the library, in what seems like a reward for bad behaviour. (Think about it... If this had been any other situation, would someone get away with breaking into people's houses and stealing their possessions? What if it were a guy breaking into women's homes and stealing their underwear because he just loved panties so much?) Loving something doesn't excuse breaking the law. I was appalled to see the message that breaking and entering and stealing were okay if you loved the thing you were stealing. In a children's book!

So, no. I would not recommend this one. It could've been a cute story if the law-breaking behaviour had been addressed. But it wasn't. Skip this one.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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