From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2. Take one resolute Ruby, add one sly Max, blend in a shopping trip to buy Grandmother's birthday present?and a money mix-up is sure to happen. Ruby's gift of choice is a ballerina-decorated music box, Max's is vampire teeth oozing cherry syrup. The music box proves too expensive, the teeth drool all over Max's outfit, resulting in a side trip to the laundromat, but Grandma does get two birthday presents that please her indeed. Before that happy ending, however, a lesson on the value of money cleverly unfolds. To help her young audience, Wells provides visual clues in the form of Bunny Money and invites readers to photocopy, cut out, and paste together the sheets of Bunny dollars included, which depict Max, Ruby, and a chuckle-inducing assortment of well-known figures (Julia Child, Desmond Tutu, Fred Astaire, Jane Austen, Jesse Owens) in rabbit guise. In relation to the many math picture books currently being published, this title rates up there with Stuart Murphy's "MathStart" series (HarperCollins) and Loreen Leedy's Monster Money Book (Holiday, 1992). As usual, Wells's line work is extraordinary; with seemingly minimum effort?but with maximum effect?the changing expressions on her characters' faces deftly delineate their personalities. To sum up, Wells's droll humor is right on the money.?Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3^-6. A companion to the uproarious Bunny Cakes
, this is a very funny birthday story. Max and his sister, Ruby, are shopping for Grandma's birthday present. Ruby has saved up a walletful of money, and, as usual, she's in charge. Or she thinks she is. She has plans for an elaborate gift, but Max is sure that Grandma would prefer a set of gorgeous glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, and he tries them out. The money slowly gets used up as Max gets thirsty, hungry, and messy (they have to spend three dollars at the laundromat), but in the end, there's enough for them each to buy a perfect gift. In the final glorious picture, Grandma is thrilled to play Ruby's musical bluebird earrings and to wear Max's vampire teeth all the way home.
Wells' ink-and-watercolor illustrations show the sibling edginess and the shopping scenarios with economy and zest: one frame pictures the green vampire teeth on the shelf, pointing at an enthralled, wide-eyed, huge-eared Max. Children will also enjoy keeping track of the money as the wallet empties out. On the endpapers there are pictures of one-and five-dollar bills, with various bunny portraits in place of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Some show Max and Ruby; others show celebrity bunnies, from Martina Navratilova and Eleanor Roosevelt to Desmond Tutu. Wells suggests that grown-ups help kids photocopy, paste, count, and shop with the bunny money. Be sure to add this to the Booklist bibliography "Beginning Math Books" . Hazel Rochman