The New Baby's Bunny by Philippa Brown

cover image

Illus. by Krista Brennan. Little Steps Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925839029.
(Ages: 3-7) There is a new baby on the way and Nanna is knitting a special bunny for its arrival. Told through one of the three older siblings, the story tells about the bunnies Nanna knitted for each of the older children when they were born and how loved they still are. 'My big brother's bunny is brown with black eyes. When my big brother goes to school, his bunny watches over his room'. The bunny for the new baby is all finished but Nanna is having trouble finding the right buttons for the eyes. Can the children help? Off to the haberdashery go the family, each choosing what they think could be the perfect button eyes. Dad's buttons are a bit big, Mum's are too dark and the buttons chosen by the two brothers are very interesting but not quite right. It is the green buttons chosen by our narrator that are perfect.
It is great to see a diverse family representation in an Australian picture book and a larger family, not often seen in picture books. The soccer ball and train buttons chosen by the brothers will probably elicit a giggle or a smile. This is a pleasing depiction of a family respectfully and jointly preparing for the arrival of a new baby and the illustrations are full of love, calm and thoughtfulness. An ordinary family and a simple gesture of love. Themes: New baby, Comfort toys.
Nicole Nelson