Book Review: Pat the Bunny
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt: 4 stars
I’m not ashamed (okay, a little ashamed) to admit that (1) to my knowledge, I didn’t have or read this book as a child, and therefore (2) I thought this was a book about a bunny…named Pat…until a couple of weeks ago. I mean, I knew it was a classic. I just knew squat about it.
I’d held off on adding this one to Boo’s book bin for fear he’d literally tear through the pages. He’d shown quite a bit of restraint with some paper books, so I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about.
I love the Dick & Jane simple sentences. Nothing fancy. Here, we’ve got Paul and Judy, presumably brother and sister. I suppose in 1940 when the book was first published, you could just assume those kinds of things.
Opening lines: Here are Paul and Judy. They can do lots of things. You can do lots of things, too. I’m glad my kid’s being included and all, but can we talk about the use of the word things? If I wrote things in just about anything I wrote in college, there’d be writing in the margins. Know what I’m sayin’? Something like please be specific or avoid this word! Looks like Dottie got away with a biggie no-no.
The book proceeds by giving examples of things Paul and Judy can do, then commanding my tot to do the same. I have to say I’m quite pleased it seems Judy can do more things than Paul. Call me a feminist. But then I feel a bit mixed about the rest. I mean, if Paul or Judy were to jump off a bridge…
Granted, my kid is first told to pat a bunny (oh…I get it), then there’s playing peek-a-boo and touching daddy’s scratchy face, so nothing life-threatening. Now that I think of it, though, the flowers my child is told (not asked, mind you) to smell are quite offensive. Think cheap perfume. Gave me a headache. So on and on this cute interactive book goes. Cuter? My Boo participates in every page. He has, however, given up on smelling the flowers. I suspect he’s offended as well.
Then we get to the end and this, dear reader, is my favorite part. You turn the page expecting a nice little wrap-up, and here’s what you get:
That’s all. Bye Bye. Can you say bye bye? Paul and Judy are waving bye bye to you.
On the adjacent page, there stand Paul and Judy waving.
Are you effing kidding me? How in the world did Dottie get away with ending a book with That’s all?! This is a writing teacher’s worst nightmare, even worse than in conclusion. Yikes! And yet she got away with it. What the hell? I need to be writing children’s books. Screw this blog. I don’t know what to think. I can’t say standards were lower in the 40s; after all, we’re still eating this up, right? We have only ourselves to blame.
Still, it’s ridonkulously cute that every time I read Can you say bye bye? my kid thinks I’m asking him for real, checking in on his skills. So he doesn’t skip a beat and responds, Bye bye, like the cutie he his, briefly raising his big browns to me as if seeking my approval. That, I believe, is worth five stars.