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PreSchool-Grade 1–A buoyant bunny, drawn in thick ink outline with a fuzzy body and delightfully mismatched ears (one downy and one plain), introduces readers to the senses, numbering them one through five. The rhyming verses and ebullient artwork convey a child's curiosity and enthusiasm for investigating the world in various ways: e.g., hearing is described, Happy ears, pay attention!/Did we mention sounds surround you?/Catch the honking, barking, singing./All that ringing will astound you. After exploring all five means of perception, the youngster encounters mother and father rabbit (one drawn with thick ink outlines and the other with velvety splotches). As the family members interact, the bunny again demonstrates each of the senses–smelling a flower held by one of the adults or listening to the other play the violin. There is no text on these pages, encouraging children to identify each example by looking at the illustration, thus reinforcing the concepts. The book ends on an affectionate note, as the threesome holds hands: Five senses–just enough–to know the love we have for you. Featuring supple ink lines, tantalizingly textured potato prints, and splashes of cheerful watercolor, the artwork is irresistible. The clean page design and graceful flow of images keep the action moving quickly. A fresh, fun, and fanciful approach to an often-requested topic.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
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PreS-K. Though it's hardly clear from the title, Raschka's latest, defiantly offbeat picture book deals with a core topic in early childhood curricula. In spare, stylized scenes paired with impressionistic quatrains, a flop-eared bunny demonstrates each of the five senses: "Lucky tongue, taste and try this berry pie. It's a blessing! Cabbage, spinach, bitter or sweet, a joy to eat with salad dressing." Then the bunny's parents appear, reinforcing the information in a curious, abrupt coda that delivers a tender message ("Five senses--just enough--to know that we love you") but undercuts the empowering aspects of independent exploration presented on the preceding pages. Much of the text reads like oddly translated fortune-cookie aphorisms, and the book's counting dimension ("Smell is 1," "Hearing is 2," and so on) is confusingly integrated. So why bother? Raschka's effervescent bunnies, combining calligraphic simplicity with the cuteness of Japanese cartoons, transcend the book's less well conceived elements, and the unusual presentation may well strike creative educators as a welcome change from drier variations on the same theme. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved