Review Blog

Aug 06 2012

A hare, a hound and shy mousey brown by Julia Hubery

cover image

Ill. by Jonathan Bentley. Little Hare Books, 2012. ISBN 978 1 921541 38 4.
(Ages: 6+) Recommended. Picture book.Friendship. The hare is exuberant about the arrival of spring. She dances her way around the fields and across the stone wall, somersaulting in the air, joyous in her freedom and being herself. She approaches the sleeping hound, wanting him to join in with her excitement, but the little mouse who lives in the stone wall, wants to warn her. He knows that the dog is not really sleeping, that he has one eye on the hare coming increasingly closer. When he does reach out and trap the hare the mouse must think quickly. He grabs a feather and tickles the dog, and so the hare is released.
A delightfully whimsical story, told in rhyming lines, this will hold the interest of young readers, whether being read aloud or by themselves. They will follow the antics of the hare in revelling in the essence of the day, and cry out to warn her of the impending doom at the hands of the dog. An astute teacher will introduce the sayings about 'sleeping dogs' and being 'doggo' to underline the sub text of the tale, and lead the readers to talk about dangerous situations and how to avoid them.
Read aloud, the story can be built up with drama and flair as the lines lead the reader across the page using alliteration and onomatopoeia to great effect.
The illustrations, in pencil and water colour, are just wonderful, underlining the feeling of bravado of the hare as she bounces her way through life.The drawings of her somersaulting around the page are exhilarating, and the developing size of the dog, threatening until the picture of his teethed moth snaps at the hare, will make the children gasp. Beautifully executed the story had me laughing out loud at the lively illustrations and terrific, sometimes surprising rhymes.
Fran Knight

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