Written and Illustrated by Melanie Watt
Disney Hyperion Books, 2011
Hooray! You’re here!
The plot in a nutshell: A rabbit goes through lots of emotions when his long-awaited friend gets there.
The rabbit is so happy to see the reader that he sings and dances and cheers. Then he gets serious and asks where the reader was. He points out that he’s been waiting a long time and tells the reader that he was really bored during that wait. Realizing that he’s being a little harsh, he goes back to rejoicing that the reader is finally here, but that causes him to remember how long he waited and he gets upset again. He says it’s rude and annoying to make someone wait and starts to yell, but then backs off again. He promises not to ask again, if the reader will agree to stay and give him your full attention. As he’s celebrating this, his cell phone rings and he answers it. While talking to one person on his phone, another person calls and he puts the first person on hold to answer. He chats away on his phone and when he turns to see the reader leaving, he asks if it was something he said.
Author/illustrator Melanie Watt fills this story with humor, but keeps it grounded with important messages about friendship, time commitments and respect. Our rabbit character whipsaws back and forth here, always pulling back when he realizes he’s gone too far. There are lots of moments in the book when you feel like you’re talking to a child, which makes me think kids will really enjoy that aspect of the book and may identify with the rabbit (which might help them see, objectively, how problematic some of that behavior can be).
The illustrations are simple and done in shades of mostly orange and yellow. The rabbit is cute, which makes it more jarring when he gets angry and berates the reader for making him wait. Some pages are full page illustrations and others feature panels where the rabbit is giving examples of how bored he was or how annoying something is. At first, I was really irritated at the ending and then realized that was exactly how I was supposed to feel, so well done, Ms. Watt.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that if you want someone to spend time with you, be sure to return the favor.