In this introduction to numbers and colors—which also champions healthful eating—poor Mama Rabbit doesn’t have anything to feed her hungry brood, so Papa Rabbit sends the little ones out to find the makings for a delicious soup. The 10 young bunnies head to the garden, each gathering colored vegetables and fruits (purple cabbage, yellow peppers, blueberries) in increasing amounts, from 1 to 10. Lobel’s gouache and watercolor illustrations are chock-full of charm and detail, especially the adorable, rotund rabbits—direct descendants of Beatrix Potter’s and Clement Hurd’s classic cottontails. However, it’s the educational components that are rightly front and center here, with both numbers and colors prominently highlighted, close-ups of grouped items for counting, and simple lines of descriptive text (“The seventh rabbit spotted SEVEN BROWN mushrooms”). An early learning concept book is an obvious choice for one-on-one sharing, but the book’s appealing scenes and petite size make it a good fit for little browsers, too. Preschool. --Kristen McKulski
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The Horn Book Magazine, January/February 2012:
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"This concept book has an original story line, engaging characters, rich language, and a predictable visual and narrative pattern, and the concepts themselves are reinforced in multiple ways in words and pictures, some subtle and some obvious. Best of all, it’s the sort of picture book you can read aloud just for the fun it, even if you don’t care about teaching numbers or colors."
Kirkus Reviews, January 2012:
"Lobel, no stranger to gardening—or concept books—serves up a feast once again...The scrumptious garden finds are boldly placed front and center, perfect for tiny fingers to point and count...With gardens cropping up in schools and farmers’ markets on every corner, these hungry bunnies are teaching more than just numbers and colors."
Publishers Weekly, January 17, 2012:
"Lobel smoothly weaves together a counting and color lesson in this trim book that follows 10 rabbits as they find vegetables for their mother’s soup. Lobel’s gouache and watercolor portraits, rendered in her familiar folk art style, recall impressionist paintings—each soup component, writ large, takes up most of its page, while the rabbits scour the garden in panels below."