Review Blog

Feb 21 2012

The scariest thing of all by Debi Gliori

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2011. ISBN 978 0 7475 9969 2
Picture book. Pre school. Fear. The smallest rabbit of them all, Pip, lives in fear. He has a long list of his fears, a list rolled up and taken with him wherever he goes, to check and add to as he goes along. The other rabbits go about their daily tasks with alacrity, leaving Pip to scoot past the lily pond where the bubbler lives or to shelter from the raindrops which hiss at him reminding him of something else he is fearful of. But when he hears a loud growly noise he runs off into the woods, to escape the thing that lies behind the noise, until he realises that it is something much closer to home and there is nothing to be fearful of after all.
A reassuring little story, Pip realises for himself that his fears are groundless, when running from the terrible noise. A wonderfully bright and colourful picture book to share with small children, encouraging them to laugh at Pip's silliness, his fears and the resolution of his fears are neatly and economically told. Children will love to look at all the other rabbits in the pictures, seeing what they are doing and comparing their quietness and going about their business with Pip's frantic machinations to run away from his fears.
The reassurance at the end of the book, of Pip coming home for supper, is a lovely satisfying end to this tale which small children will enjoy. A parent or pre school teacher could use the tale to talk about the children's fears and their resolution, allaying their fears, giving them strategies to overcome them.
Fran Knight

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