Uh-oh! Rabbit by Jo Ham

cover image

Rabbit loves being active and to this end, we see him on the see-saw with his friend on the other end, and we see him as he tries diving off the peer, or tries to ski down the slope and then slide down the slippery dip. The problem is Rabbit. He has lots of Uh-oh moments. He seems very accident prone. Everything he tries comes to a sticky end. On the see-saw he slips underneath and falls off. When he dives his dive turns into a bomb, and he splashes his friend who comes off the float she is on. He seems perfectly in control as he skis off the ski slope, but somehow his legs become twisted up and he falls into the snow. The last adventure is on a slippery dip, so the expectation is almost a forgone conclusion, but the prediction does not come to anything, turning the story on its head, causing lots of laughter from the young audience, and the readers.

Children from the start of each trio of pages, will be used to the first illustration showing Rabbit going up, followed by an 'Uh-oh' as he has an accident of some sort, then the last page shows Rabbit down. This is turned right around in the last sequence as he keeps going up. The hiccup in the predictable is wonderful, as both reader and watcher will laugh at the way the author plays with our expectation.

The illustrations add another level of humour as he does the right thing, the expected thing in each of the first frames. He looks to be skiing beautifully, and in the right pose for skiing and diving. Even on the slippery dip, all seems fine. By then the 'Uh-oh' alerts the readers to the change in fortune as he does something wrong to undermine his achievements but this is all askew on the slippery dip.

The stunning black and white illustrations are augmented with a spot of yellow, giving an intriguing highlight on some pages, while the 'Uh-oh' is always on a yellow page, contrasting with the black and white pages. The endpapers add another level of interest which young readers will love, scanning their eyes over the things they have read about but seeing a few more things that Rabbit tries out with similar disastrous endings.

A very funny book for the young toddler, strongly constructed and with thicker pages for them to look at time and time again, and offering a starter for talks about keeping yourself safe.  

Yippee! Rabbit and Oops! Rabbit are also available.

Themes: Accidents, Adventure, Rabbits, Humour, Safety.

Fran Knight