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Bedtime Bunnies- Honors & Full Reviews


  • School Library Journal, Starred Review

The Original Art


School Library Journal, Starred Review

This minimally worded story begins with five scampering bunnies being called inside one autumn evening by their parents. In addition to the falling leaves, the youngsters notice that it is also beginning to snow. The youngest takes part in all of his siblings’ activities, but with his eyes always on the window and the falling flakes. Eating dinner, bathing, brushing teeth, donning pajamas, and listening to stories, the energetic bunnies are always in motion. No more than four onomatopoeic words per page aptly describe the scenes: “Chomp, Munch, Gobble, Crunch,” while the soft-focus illustrations, done in watercolors, acrylics, and pencil, depict a happy, old-fashioned family and their cozy home in a hollow tree. Father builds a small snow bunny on the windowsill while the children settle down to sleep, heightening the smallest bunny’s anticipation of the coming day and the deep snow. Children will enjoy the warmth and closeness of this charming family.

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Booklist Review

Clever Watson. Using a minimum of words and a cute crop of bunnies, she offers a warm glimpse of family life, with which little children will easily identify. When it’s time for the bunnies to settle down for the day, the family rituals begin. The quintet of siblings have something to eat, brush their teeth (“squirt, scrub, splutter, spit”), have a bath (“swish, slosh, bubble, splash”), listen to a story, and get ready for bed, where a bounce and a thump lead to a cuddle and a hug. With four words to a spread, kids will soon be “reading” along on repeated visits. Autumnal colors provide a cozy background for the bunny family, who are drawn in a simple style that complements the unadorned text. Short, sweet, and smart.

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Horn Book Review

"Skip / Scamper / Scurry / Hop." As the first few snowflakes begin to fall outside their cozy hollow-tree home, five lively bunnies come indoors to eat a snack, brush their teeth, have a bath, put on pajamas, listen to a book, and "Climb / Bounce / Jump / Thump" into bed. The story line is as basic as can be---and will be instantly familiar to young listeners. Watson's compositions, too, are soothingly uncomplicated, yet there are lots of clever details to extend the text. Because the bunnies' bedtime activities mirror a child's own winding-down routine, preschoolers will easily be able to participate in the telling, or even "read" the book themselves. The spare onomatopoeic text (just four words on all but two spreads) moves swiftly through the evening's events, each four-word grouping nicely reflecting the appropriate mood of the pictured scene. With the snow now blanketing the ground outside, the sleepy bunnies are tucked snugly into bed, which is just where bunny listeners will be headed, too.

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Kirkus Review

Seasoned author-illustrator Watson introduces a quintet of winsome young rabbits with wide-eyed stares, springy, stick-like limbs and old-fashioned outfits. They live in a cozy hollowed-out tree with their mother and father, who call them inside just as the first few snowflakes begin to fall. Their actions then mirror a child’s typical bedtime routine—a healthy snack (carrots, of course), tooth brushing, a bath, putting on pajamas, listening to a story, a bedtime smooch and, finally, drifting off to sleep. All of this is accomplished with no more than four words on any double-page spread. This brevity offers plenty of opportunities to pore over the pictures, charmingly executed in pencil, watercolors and acrylics. The individual bunnies’ personalities shine through in the gently rounded, softly textured illustrations, and there’s an amusing secondary story, entirely visual, in which the papa bunny creates a miniature snow-rabbit for his youngest son. It will take patience and discipline on the part of adult readers to keep from breezing through without slowing down long enough for listeners to take in the details, but it's worth it. Quiet and utterly darling.

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Publisher's Weekly Review

Snow begins to fall as rabbit parents summon their five offspring into their tree house ("Bedtime, bunnies!"). Watson (Spuds) keeps her art and text appealingly simple, yet flourishes are evident in both. The text strings together a punchy, onomatopoeic selection of words (mostly verbs), as the bunnies skip, scamper, scurry, and hop inside; chomp, munch, gobble, and crunch a carrot snack; brush their teeth with a squirt, scrub, splutter, and spit; and swish, slosh, bubble, and splash in the tub. Rendered in pencil, watercolor, and acrylic paint, Watson's buoyant, gauzy pictures reveal several "oops" moments: one bunny spills juice down the front of his overalls, and another drops a bar of soap while taking a bath. As snow gathers outside, several of the bedtime rituals take place in small nooks, which are defined by warm, brown walls and archways, focusing the action and adding to the book's cozy vibe (other scenes are set against a marbled yellow backdrop, to similar effect). At once soothing and spirited, this is a charmingly crafted bedtime tale for cold winter nights.

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