Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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Battle Bunny

Leave it to Jon Scieszka (Knucklehead) and Mac Barnett (Extra Yarn) to take a bland birthday story starring a benign bunny and turn it into a tale of a rabbit on a rampage, ready to wage war.

As with all great comedy, timing is everything. A sweet bunny wakes after "a night of pleasant dreams." However, a boy named Alex peers in through the window with a thought balloon that reads, "Uh oh." With a turn of the page, readers see why: the Birthday Bunny transforms into "Battle Bunny!" sporting a pirate's patch and a bandolier. The original text is crossed out in pencil so that children can see the ingenious ways in which Alex has amended the words. The contrast gives the book its humor. Matthew Myers's artwork, too, shifts from a rose-colored vision--all sunshine and lollipops--to the world of the demonized rabbit wreaking havoc.

Scieszka, Barnett and Myers invite children to take an active role in this story and to think critically about the choices author and artist make. Most of all, Battle Bunny makes for great entertainment: it's funny, the plot builds and the protagonist captivates readers' attention. It begs to be reread and shared. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness