Review Blog

Aug 31 2011

Babbit by Lydia Monks

cover image

Egmont, 2011. ISBN 9781405254236
Babbit is a rabbit - a toy one who lives with the Big One and the Little One. Little One is supposed to look after Babbit but she's not very good at it. One day, while having a picnic, Babbit is grabbed, kidnapped by the Witchy One in cahoots with the Snorty One, the Growly One and the Snappy One. But Little One doesn't even notice. Poor Babbit has to sit tied to a tree while the fiends argue just which bit of him they are going to eat. Will Little One discover he's gone and find him in time? And does the story have a happy-ever-after ending?
The story is told from Babbit's perspective and there are lots of opportunities to have younger readers step into Babbit's shoes and reflect on the emotions that Babbit might be feeling, enabling them to not only start to develop empathy but also to start their journey into being able to put themselves in another's shoes. The language is delightful and there are some funny phrases that they will have fun with as well as examples of onomatopoeia that could be explored. There are even opportunities for movement activities as you dramatise the flight
through the woods.
Even though it sounds like this might be a bit too scary for little people, the illustrations are clear and simple with no sense of foreboding or evil at all, and the ending is very satisfying for all, including Babbit. I think this will quickly move from a first-read to a favourite with Miss 5.
Barbara Braxton

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