IPG Children's Publisher of the Year

12 of the best books with bunnies

Posted by Tom on Apr 18, 2014

Just in time for Easter, we’ve been thinking about our favourite books featuring bunnies – a highly populated field, it transpires. We’ve been rather strict in our criteria (no hares – sorry) and even so, this list could have been twice as long (let us know the rabbits that you think merit inclusion in the comments below). And without further ado, here’s our selection:

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

The most famous fictional rabbit of them all – no list could be complete without Beatrix Potter’s Peter, who over-eats in Mr. McGregor’s garden, and is put to bed with chamomile tea.

Little Grey Rabbit, Alison Uttley and Margaret Tempest

Another classic of children’s literature, Little Grey Rabbit was Adrian and Mary’s immediate choice.

Watership Down, Richard Adams

An ambitious and epic adventure novel, the story of Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig features, I think it is fair to say, the most traditionally heroic rabbits on this list.

I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen

The villain of Klassen’s modern picture book classic is a Very Bad Rabbit. With almost no words at all and an incredibly minimal art style, Klassen manages to convey so much – deception, guilt, realisation, anger, retribution: an entire dramatic arc in little more than the direction of a gaze and the colour of type.

Little Rabbit Foo Foo, Michael Rosen and Arthur Robins

Little Rabbit Foo Foo is another Bad Rabbit. The thing I love most about this book is the way in which it wonderfully, mischievously confounds expectations: Foo Foo is warned, and warned, and warned again to stop bopping other animals on the head… and in a lesser book, this is what he would do, along with a suitable dose of contrition and a heavy moral lesson. Here, though, he does not, and the Good Fairy delivers on her threat, with spectacularly funny consequences.

Poo Bum, Stephanie Blake

Another modernist masterpiece – even more minimalist than I Want My Hat Back. Funny, surreal, brilliance, which will appeal to adults and children alike.

Pip and Posy, Axel Scheffler

Pip the rabbit is one half of this pair of best friends in the best-selling series by illustrator Axel Scheffler. Together they’ve got up to all sorts of adventures – filled with gentle humour, the books are wonderful reflections of day-to-day toddler life.

Use Your Imagination, Nicola O’Byrne

Nicola O’Byrne’s follow-up to the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning Open Very Carefully features a bored rabbit who finds himself stuck with a wolf, who calls himself a librarian and takes an unhealthy level of interest in amusing rabbit with a story. But what story will they find themselves in? This is another brilliantly imaginative picture book about storytelling – it won’t be published until August, but you can pre-order it online here.

A Lullaby for Little One, Dawn Casey and Charles Fuge

At the end of a lovely, fun-filled day, there’s time for just one last game for Little Bunny and Big Daddy Rabbit and their woodland friends. But when Little Bunny gets tired and it becomes too much of a hullabaloo, Big Daddy Rabbit knows that a special lullabaloo lullaby is exactly what’s needed. This beautifully lyrical lullaby illustrated by internationally acclaimed artist Charles Fuge will be published next year – you can pre-order it online here..

Toot Goes to Dinosaurland, Catherine and Laurence Anholt

An adorably inquisitive new character from a much-loved picture book team. Toot’s little car has a most unusual feature – it has a magical sat nav system! So, when he presses the special button, off he zooms on an adventure with his trusty toy puppy for company. But where will he go first? To Dinosaurland, of course! You can buy it online here.

Bunny Boo has lost her teddy!, Jannie Ho

It’s bedtime for Bunny Boo, but where is her teddy? In the toy box? On the bookshelves? In the laundry room? Designed for the smallest of hands, and with chunky tabs for little hands to push and pull, this robust, colourful board book will delight baby readers again and again – you can buy it online here.

What are your favourite books with bunnies? Please do add your suggestions below – and Happy Easter!

Come to the May Nosy Crow Reading Group!

Posted by Tom on Apr 17, 2014

Would you like to come to the next Nosy Crow Reading Group?

Every month we meet and discuss new and interesting children’s books over a glass of wine – it’s lots of fun. In May, we’ll be discussing a trio of fantastic picture books… with, appropriately enough, the unifying theme of “books about books” (or, as one member of last month’s group pithily described them, “meta-books”).

We’ll be talking about It’s a Book, by Lane Smith – a story which Smith himself describes, rather straightforwardly, as being “about a book loving monkey, a tech savvy jackass and a straight talking little mouse.” But is that really all it’s about? Here’s a trailer:

And you can buy the book online here.

We’ll also be looking at one of our own titles: the recent winner in the picture book category of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Open Very Carefully, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne with words by Nick Bromley. A crocodile has ended up in totally the wrong story, and his attempts to escape – by eating his way through the pages – make this a fantastic book for sharing and discussing how words and pictures work. Here’s a look inside:

You can buy Open Very Carefully online here.

And finally, we’ll be discussing Press Here, by Herve Tullet – a truly unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity. Here’s a trailer:

Press Here is currently only available at a hardback price of £9.99, but we’ve got a limited number of copies for sale for £6.99. If you’d like to come to this month’s book group, you can buy a copy from us in person at any point before the event (just email tom@nosycrow.com for more details) – or, if you’ve come to the book group before, we can post you a copy and you can pay us on the night.

The group will be taking place here at the Nosy Crow offices – 10a Lant Street, London, SE1 1QR – on Thursday, May 15 at 6.30pm. If you’d like to come to the physical event at our office in London, send an email to tom@nosycrow.com and we’ll try to fit in as many people as possible. If we can’t save a place for you this time, we can, if you’d like, keep you on our waiting list for cancellations and add you to our mailing list for future events.

And if you can’t make it here, we’d love for you to join in online, either on Twitter with the #NCGKids hashtag, or in the comments section of our blog for the evening.

We’ll post some discussion points for the book a little closer to the date – we hope you can join us!

Oscar’s First Book Prize

Posted by Tom on Apr 16, 2014

Two Nosy Crow picture books have been longlisted for a new book prize established by the Evening Standard in memory of the son of City editor James Ashton, who died suddenly at the age of three.

Weasels, by Elys Dolan, and Open Very Carefully, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne with words by Nick Bromley (and recent winner of the picture book category of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize), are both in the running for Oscar’s First Book Prize, which will reward “the most magical book for pre-school children”. Judges include former Pearson CEO Dame Marjorie Scardino, and the winning book will be awarded £5000.

You can take a look inside Weasels below:

Buy the book online.

And here’s a look inside Open Very Carefully:

Buy the book online.

You can read the full longlist here – good luck to Elys, Nicola and Nick!