From Publishers Weekly
Cute-as-a-button Wilbur Bunny asks readers to join him in counting the 99 members of his exceptionally extended family, who have gathered to celebrate the arrival of Bunny No. 100: Wilbur's new sister, Sweet Petunia (her introduction makes for the book's not-so-surprising ending). To make the task of a major rabbit enumeration less daunting, Szekeres (I Love My Busy Book) has wisely broken down the imposing sum into manageable groups of relatives: e.g., five aunts, five great-aunts and, toward the conclusion, 26 teenage cousins, "one for every letter of the alphabet." The text builds momentum by announcing the subsets of guests ("The aunties arrive in their party clothes! Don't they look pretty?"), then ticking off individuals by name ("Auntie Peggy, Auntie Polly, Auntie Pasto, Auntie Lou, and Auntie Prunella!") and keeping track of the total so far ("Count 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 bunnies"). Szekeres takes full advantage of this paper-over-board book's oversize format, filling the double-page spreads with 100 sweetly comic characters plus a few well-chosen diversions (like tiny frogs playing leapfrog). Preschoolers should also get a giggle out of the parade of bunny names, which include Nelly Smelly Rose, twins Pokey Nose and Nosey Blows, and Bump-a-long Billie. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K?This overly long, overly cute counting book might be popular with fans of Szekeres's artwork but offers little to those looking for plot, characterization, or even skill building. Young Wilbur, dressed in brightly colored party clothes, counts the 99 bunnies in his family as they arrive for a special occasion. The text, written in a breathless, exclamatory tone, is essentially a list of names and relationships: Mama is 2, Papa is 3, and so on, including sisters Polly and Esther (6 and 7), "Auntie Pasto" (23), and 26 cousins with names from A to Z (82 through 99). Numerals are found in both the narrative and the illustrations but there is no real pattern to the counting process. Some double-page spreads showcase 4 or 5 bunnies, while others feature 8 or 10. Szekeres includes both verbal and visual clues about the various characters' interests and/or actions. Unfortunately, the smiling, bright-eyed bunnies all look pretty much the same. In addition, the entire family is shown only once, on the next to last page, making it difficult for young children to grasp the ever-growing total. Those who make it through the first 99 bunnies are rewarded with the news that the 100th bunny is Wilbur's brand new baby sister. Varied page layouts add some much-needed variety. However, there are plenty of better books about bunnies, families, and new babies.?Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.