Ten Little Rabbits

Harper­Collins. Feb. 2024. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780062644671.
PreS-Gr 1–Counting from 1 to 10 and back again—that’s the concept in this never-before-published book from the renowned children’s book creator. With pure Sendak whimsy, this simple story will grab readers’ attention. At first, a child magician stands next to the podium marked with the letter “M” (for Magician, Maurice, or perhaps for Max from Where the Wild Things Are?). Dressed in striped trousers and tails, the magician smiles confidently as the first rabbit appears. Then the child’s facial expressions change as each additional rabbit jumps out of the top hat, landing on the child’s arms, legs, back, and head. Will this mound of bunnies overwhelm the young conjurer? Of course, Sendak is a master at showing a child regaining control, and that’s exactly what happens as the magician makes the rabbits vanish one by one, an exercise in counting backward. “None,” and “All done,” close out the book as the child walks offstage. The illustrations are in gray scale with the rabbits depicted in white, yellow, blue, and gray. Useful as a counting book for young children, this charmer also lends itself to home or classroom discussions of strategies for recognizing and dealing with obstacles and frustration.
VERDICT A newly discovered treasure from a beloved children’s book magician.

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