The Poppa Platoon in Saving Private Rabbit by Danny Katz
Illus. by Mitch Vane. Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781742769257.
(Age: 6-9) Recommended. Themes: Birthday parties; Friendship; Humour. Tapping into the current trend for comic stories, Danny Katz (of Little Lunch fame) has created a 'mission' to attend the Friendship-Bear birthday party for Abbie. Her Poppa is the responsible adult to accompany Abbie and her friends on the risky manoeuvres through the local shopping mall to the Friendship-Bear party store. The dangers and problems that beset the young troop will be understood be all who have attended a large shopping Mall! Poppa is perhaps the one who suffers the most from this excursion into 'danger'. . . but the party is important. And when Private Rabbit goes missing, Abbie demonstrates extreme bravery and leadership.
This book is full of kid-friendly humour and illustrations, and although there may be some indirect references to 'military' procedures that will pass over the heads and understanding of the youngest readers, the inclusion of the booger on the end of the finger of the Boogey-Woogie Booger Boy will amuse the young. Illustrations by Mitch Vane are in a messy cartoon and almost caricature-style and are quite amusing. This is not a book for thinkers, but will be enjoyed as light-hearted entertainment for young independent readers.