Review posted March 10, 2013.
Balzer + Bray, 2012. 36 pages.
Hooray! Another big family picture book! Chloe is the middle child in her family of rabbits. She has ten older brothers and sisters and ten younger brothers and sisters. And, more realistically than in Another Brother, even though they are rabbits, Chloe's siblings are pictured as different sizes and different ages.
But this isn't a story about having too many siblings. This is a story about having fun.
Chloe loved the end of the day, when her whole family was together. She called it family fun time.
But her father brings home a new television. When the whole family except Chloe and little Bridget watch TV, Chloe thinks it's the worst family fun time ever.
But then Bridget finds the bubble wrap. . . .
Pop! Pap! Thip! Bip! Pop!
This is a simple story, about how doing simple things together can be the most fun at all. Peter McCarty's wonderful illustrations are what make this a stand-out. Even though there are 21 siblings and two parents, each rabbit is portrayed as an individual. I love the way little Bridget imitates Chloe's gestures and expressions. I love the way the character on TV looks over at Chloe and her brothers and sisters having fun. I love the way Dad stays up popping bubble wrap after everyone's in bed, and I love the way the baby in the crib is the only child not asleep.
I complain sometimes (a little tongue-in-cheek) that with all the quest for diversity in children's literature, big families simply aren't well-represented. Well, here's a picture book where the big family isn't the point, isn't held up as strange. The big family is what it is. This is a simple story about having fun.
[I also love that it's a book that celebrates the fun of popping bubble wrap. Did you know those bubbles are called utricles? It was featured on my 365 Words a Year calendar one day when I was in college, and my officemate and I used to gloat over any opportunity to pop utricles.]