I am a Bunny
by Ole Risom, Illustrated by Richard Scarry
If you are most familiar with Richard Scarry's art from "Busy, Busy Town" and his various books about "things that go," this book will show you a whole other side of his talent. It has lush, painterly nature scenes in which a little bunny, Nicholas, plays with butterflies, watches birds and frogs, and takes in the changes of the seasons.
The trim of the book (tall vertical) gives each scene an a sort of grand theatrical quality. You know how opera scenery can be so big and grand that the actors look small? These tall nature scenes with a little bunny in them have a similar grandeur to them. And yet they are still so sweet. The bunny's expressions and poses are adorably childlike. Here is my favorite:
(I am no butterfly expert, but it seems that he has taken care to depict real butterflies. Same appears to be true of the birds on other pages.)
My baby seems to study the scenes; since Nicholas wears the same bright outfit in almost every scene, I think she is noticing him. Once she develops language it will be fun ask her, "Where's Nicholas?"
The text is very simple-- nothing special, but very easy and sweet to read to a baby. Just one simple sentence per spread. It is really a perfect introduction to the seasons. I can't recommend it enough! (And I thank the colleague who recommended it to me!)