Friday, November 2, 2018

Bunny Slopes among the 12 Great Winter Picture Books

Bunny Slopes is a clever little take on the term used for the gentle hills beginning skiers use for practice. Many children start out their skiing careers on the "bunny slopes," but in this case, Rueda has drawn an actual bunny going down a hill.
The drawings are cute and charming, but the actual reason I chose this book is that it's part of a trend of interactive books that address the reader and ask them to do certain motions. The thing that delights the children is that when they do what the book says, they can turn the page and see what has happened as a result of their actions.
I'll describe how it works in this book. First, a little bunny on skis says, "Hello? Oh, it's you. Want to join me for a ski day?" When you turn the page, the bunny has noticed that he is on a flat slope with no snow. At first, our bunny seems distressed to see the lack of snow, but then he brightens and says, "Maybe we can make some! Could you please shake the book?" (I can't really reproduce the typography here, but the word "shake" is in large, red letters, and there are little movement marks around the word.)
This is your cue to hand the book to the child and let him or her shake it until they think it's good enough. Then, it's time to turn the page. You'll see a light drifting of snow, but the bunny will ask if you can shake the book much harder. Of course, your child will be happy to do a harder shake. Turn to the next page, and you'll see just the bunny's ears under a pile of snow, which should elicit at least a giggle. The bunny will tell you that maybe that was a little too much shaking and ask you to "tap tap tap" the top of the book to pack down the snow.
The story continues in like fashion, and you and the child you're sharing the book with can tilt to make a hill, turn the book when the bunny goes off a cliff, and watch as the bunny falls in a hole (an actual circle is cut into the book.) I won't give away the ending. Suffice it to say that falling into a hole can sometimes be a good thing.
Another thing I like about this book--outside of its entertainment value--is that it teaches a child to follow directions. It also teaches some vocabulary, like the word "tilt" and also some concepts, like faster and slower and left and right.
It's a great little book that guides you in ways to interact and play with your child by reading it.

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