Kunoichi Bunny

Orca. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459827806.
PreS-Gr 1–This captivating, essentially wordless, comic book–style picture book captures a child’s experiences as she saves the day with her toy bunny. A pigtailed toddler sits in a stroller clutching her rag bunny as her father pushes her. She sees two cats fighting and throws the bunny between them, separating the fight. Then she cries “Koichi” (the bunny’s name), prompting her father to retrieve it. The day continues this way, as she prevents a stroller from falling down the bus steps, rescues a gosling, stops a ball from hitting someone, and makes an old lady smile, all with the help of Koichi. At the end of the day, the father washes the bunny and tucks it and the girl into bed. Other than the exclamations of “Koichi,” the story is wordless, as single-page, full-bleed spreads give way to horizontal and vertical panels at different points. The colored pencil and digital art has a realistic feel, with fully colored backgrounds depicting the city around the father and daughter. They both have black hair and large black eyes. The other characters include an interracial couple with a white woman in a wheelchair. Sato does a brilliant job with point of view, perspective, and zoom, moving the plot along and giving it the feel of an everyday superhero story. This inviting book effectively encourages visual literacy for the youngest audience. The involved parenting by the father, as well as the inclusive depictions, are an added bonus.
VERDICT A delightfully engaging, welcome addition to most collections.

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