Monday, January 27, 2020

Review - Lawrence: The Bunny Who Wanted to Be Naked

Lawrence: The Bunny Who Wanted to Be Naked
by Vern Kousky
Date: 2020
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

In this funny, charming, and oh-so-relatable picture book, meet a young bunny named Lawrence who is determined to decide what he wears--or doesn't wear.

Ever since he was a tiny bunny, Lawrence's mother has dressed him up in all the most fashionable clothes--the brightest colors and the most interesting styles. Lawrence wears homemade sweater suits. And inflatable helium balloon pants. The only problem? Lawrence hates wearing clothes and longs to hop naked through the fields--just like all the other bunnies.

So Lawrence comes up with an ingenious plan to turn the tables on his mother. Ultimately, the mother-son duo devise a way to put their considerable creative talents to use, in a way that makes both of them happy. In this picture book that's perfect for Easter and year round, kids will laugh out loud at (and understand!) Lawrence's quest for independence, just as parents will identify with how hard it is to let go of your one-and-only special bunny....

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Most picture books about empathy involve trying to teach it to the child. This book turns that idea on its head when Lawrence gives his mother a taste of her own (highly fashionable) medicine.

See, Mrs. Rabbit is one of those moms who likes to dress her kid up in fancy outfits... whether the kid likes it or not. All Lawrence wants to do is shed the ridiculous clothes and hop naked through the fields like all the other animals. But when he expresses his feelings to his mother, she's not willing to listen, so wrapped up is she in her little bunny being "special". So Lawrence decides to turn the tables on her, and whips up a special present: her own ridiculous outfit... along with a generous dollop of guilt. As Mrs. Rabbit wears the gift, she starts to realize how her son might have felt. And then she gets another brilliant idea...

The story is pretty cute, and the writing is solid for the most part. The illustrations of Lawrence's ridiculous garments are amusing and colourful, and you can't help but feel sorry for him.

Overall, this is a fun and relatable (at least for some kids) story about learning to listen to each other. The premise reminds me a little of Lester's Dreadful Sweaters by K. G. Campbell, which is also about a kid forced to wear clothes he doesn't like to please adults. But I like the overall message here better, especially since Lawrence's wishes are ultimately respected.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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