by Roger and Jennifer Sulham

I was thrilled to receive an actual paperback copy of this book in the mail so that I could read it with my daughter.  M. is nearly three.  I was sure the rhyming format would be a hit, and it was.  She loves this book, asking me to read it every day, and usually more than once a day.  She has a little trouble with the name, but manages to get her point across anyway.
The book is about a family of hares who run to escape from a scary noise they assume is a monster, collecting forest friends on their escape who all add to the panic.  They finally approach the master of the dog, the last friend they meet, for help with the problem.
I have to say, the illustrations created by Jennifer Sulham are wonderful.  Made collage-style out of various colors, textures and types of paper, they are eye-catching as well as being adorable.  The bear, in particular, has such an inviting texture that I find myself wanting to run my finger over it every time we read the book.  The other animals are creatively–and adorably–rendered also.
The book starts out with a sing-song tone reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, but quickly develops its own rhythm and pattern as the story progresses.  Roger Sulham does a great job of keeping the rhymes interesting, and isn’t afraid to use more advanced language in his rhymes, rhyming words like “alarming” and  “disarming” instead of sticking to a simpler “fat cat sat” vocabulary.
The only negative thing I could say is that some of the imagery seemed a little too scary for small children.  As the fleeing animals tell the next animal they meet about the monster they assume is chasing them, the wording is sometimes on the gruesome side, my least favorite being when the animal is told the monster will “eat us up and pick our bones clean!”  This is, I will admit, my own personal reaction and may not be everyone–or anyone–else’s.  My 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son both listened separately to me reading to M., and both separately brought up that same point about the language however.  I will say it doesn’t seem to bother M. at all, so it could just be that we’re all overprotective of her.
Overall, I can recommend this book to anyone with small children based on M.’s reaction to it alone.  As I said, she LOVES it.  It is a quick read, so parents won’t mind having to read it over and over if their kids fall in love with it too, and the artwork is a treat too.

This book is published by Inkblot Press and can be found on Amazon.