Written by Florence Minor, Illustrated by Wendell Minor
Katherine Tegen Books, 2017
Tickles the bunny yawned.
When Tickles wakes up, she realizes her brothers and sisters went off to play without her. Disappointed (because they do this a lot), she sits down to read from her favorite book, called How to Be a Bigger Bunny. The first story she reads is about a small bunny who wants to climb a tall tree and manages to do so, through perseverance. Next, she reads a story about pirates and she practices being bold and talking like a pirate. The next story she reads is about getting out of tricky places and as she is thinking about it, she hears a noise. She goes to see what it is and finds her siblings trapped in an old hollow log. She talks like a pirate to feel bolder, then climbs a tree and thinks about how to get them out of this difficult situation. She nibbles around one end of the log and soon, they are all free. They declare her the bravest and best and commit to always bringing her along on their adventures from then on.
This book, from the husband and wife team of Florence and Wendell Minor, is a bit of an overachiever for this theme as it’s a ‘How to’ book that features a ‘How to’ book. There’s a bit of ‘overly cute’ at work with this book, especially in the character names (Tickles, Nibbles, Wiggles, Giggles and Jiggles), but it makes up for it in the idea of improving your life through reading. We see Tickles dream big things for herself after reading them in her book and then getting to put them into practice for real, which is very cool. Mr. Minor’s dedication on the acknowledgements page goes out to Beatrix Potter, Leonard Weisgard and Garth Williams and you can see a lot of those influences at work here. The gouache watercolor artwork is gentle and lovely, making this an excellent choice for very young readers, who will find the illustrations adorable.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that you never know when the things you learn in books will come in handy.