Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise
by Swapna Haddow & Alison Friend

It’s time for another chapter book review and this one is utterly adorable!

Little Rabbit is a very bored bunny, so when the opportunity comes along for her to spend the day with her grandfather – Big Rabbit – she is very excited indeed. Big Rabbit tells her he has lots of work to do and she can be his assistant. Little Rabbit thinks this sounds like fun but she’s a little confused. As far as she’s aware her grandfather doesn’t have a job – he just spends all his time talking to his friends!

Over the course of the day the two rabbits encounter lots of different animals who need help. The entrance to Mole’s new burrow is much darker than he had realised and he’s worried that Little Mole and his friends might take a tumble. Granny Hedgehog has a nasty cold and she’s feeling very lonely in her little nest by herself. Dormouse has just moved in to a new house but it needs a lot of work and he has four little babies to  feed and look after. And poor Squirrel has sprained her paw which means she can’t forage for food for her young children.

At every stop Little Rabbit observes her grandfather as he comforts and helps each animal. Although he’s not fixing their problems, she sees that the care and attention which he gives them helps turn their day around. She realises that he is a very important part of the woodland community and wonders if this is what he means when he talks about ‘work’.

When Little Rabbit wakes the next day she discovers that Big Rabbit has left her a note. He wants her to collect shiny paper, flowers and twigs for an important task. Paper and twigs usually mean they’re going to make a kite so she is super excited – but Little Rabbit is in for a big surprise…

This is a fab story which teaches children about kindness, community and the importance of helping others. The portrayal of the relationship between grandparent and grandchild is particularly poignant and the whole book feels like a nice warm hug. There are colour illustrations on every page and they are so sweet that Ivy actually gasped with delight at some of them!

This is perfect to read aloud at bedtime with children aged 4+ and for children aged 6+ to read by themselves.

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