Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu

Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu
Illustrated By: Delphine Durand
Geared Towards: Ages 2-6
Published By: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8118-6666-8

We all have them- bad moods that is. Some days we know exactly what it is that is bothering us, and it's easy to resolve the inner conflict that causes the bad mood in the first place. Other days we can't quite put our finger on it, but we and everyone else around us knows there's something bothering us because of the big ugly mood following us about everywhere we go.

The latter is what happened to Big Rabbit in Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu. Rabbit wakes up one morning feeling grumpy and glum. He doesn't know why he feels this way, only that he does. He can't talk on the phone because his friend won't answer and his mom's too busy. He can't listen to some soothing music on the radio because his bad mood takes away the pleasure. He even tries to watch something on tv, but all he can see is his big bad mood staring back at him. Everything Rabbit tries to do just ends up worse and worse until Rabbit can finally take it no longer. Whatever the reason for his being there, the bad mood must go! With that final thought on the matter, Rabbit begins to devise a plan to free himself of the bad mood once and for all.

Suggesting that Rabbit has a bad mood doesn't really hit the idea home when you're dealing with younger readers, but this is where the work of the illustrator really comes in to play. She has done a wonderful job of capturing the concept of the bad mood and bringing it forth on the page. The hairy gray creature hereforth known as Bad Mood, can be seen following Big Rabbit around throughout each illustration. It's this visual which really takes Rabbit's figurative bad mood and turns it into something totally identifiable for kids. Being actually embodied by a character on the page, boosts the impact of the story because it really allows the kids reading the story to establish a better of understanding of what Rabbit is going through. And that, therein, allows them to sympathize and relate with Rabbit's plight on a much more personal level.

My girls and I thought that Big Rabbit's Bad Mood was a lot of fun to read together, and the fact that the story starts out sad but closes with a happy ending just makes it a real winner. Plus I think other parents like myself will not only enjoy the story on it's basic level, but I think they'll also enjoy it for the author's subtle message about how we sometimes overthink things and cause ourselves to be visited by the bad mood. Because certainly, Rabbit and I can't be the only ones that do this.

OUR RATING: 5 hearts

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