School Library Journal
PreS—When the rabbits wail that they are hungry, Papa Rabbit suggests that they head to the garden. What they find there—cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, peas, etc.—provides contents for Mama's empty pot. As each rabbit selects an item ("the second rabbit pulled up TWO WHITE onions," "the sixth rabbit yanked up SIX ORANGE carrots"), viewers will quickly discover that the colors of the vegetables match the colors of the bunnies' outfits. While some may question the eighth bunny's choice of blueberries for vegetable soup, it does fill out the color scheme—and, who knows, perhaps the bunnies enjoyed them for dessert! Lobel's vibrant colors punch up this sweet and simple tale, providing a multiple learning package for very young children.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Lobel smoothly weaves together a counting and color lesson in this trim book that follows 10 rabbits as they find vegetables for their mother’s soup. The color of each rabbit’s vegetable matches his or her clothing, as well as the corresponding numerals and name of each color. On the way up to 10, the fourth rabbit “picked four red tomatoes,” while the seventh rabbit “spotted seven brown mushrooms.” After Papa Rabbit slices the medley of colorful vegetables, and Mama swirls the soup on the stove, “The Rabbit family sat down to bowls of delicious vegetable soup. Yum! The happy rabbits were hungry no more.” Lobel’s gouache and watercolor portraits, rendered in her familiar folk art style, recall impressionist paintings—each soup component, writ large, takes up most of its page, while the rabbits scour the garden in panels below. Ages 1–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
The Horn Book Magazine, January/February 2012:
"This concept book has an original story line, engaging characters, rich language, and a predictable visual and narrative pattern, and the concepts themselves are reinforced in multiple ways in words and pictures, some subtle and some obvious. Best of all, it’s the sort of picture book you can read aloud just for the fun it, even if you don’t care about teaching numbers or colors."
Kirkus Reviews, January 2012:
"Lobel, no stranger to gardening—or concept books—serves up a feast once again...The scrumptious garden finds are boldly placed front and center, perfect for tiny fingers to point and count...With gardens cropping up in schools and farmers’ markets on every corner, these hungry bunnies are teaching more than just numbers and colors."
Publishers Weekly, January 17, 2012:
"Lobel smoothly weaves together a counting and color lesson in this trim book that follows 10 rabbits as they find vegetables for their mother’s soup. Lobel’s gouache and watercolor portraits, rendered in her familiar folk art style, recall impressionist paintings—each soup component, writ large, takes up most of its page, while the rabbits scour the garden in panels below."
Children's Literature - Marcie Flinchum Atkins
An entire family of rabbits contributes in some way to making a big pot of soup in this counting and color concept book. There are ten very hungry baby rabbits, but there is nothing in the house to eat. So the rabbits go out to the garden to find some vegetables for their soup. Each rabbit pulls up a different number and color vegetable. One rabbit pulls up one purple cabbage, another rabbit pulls up five pink potatoes. Each vegetable is illustrated and accompanied by the number in numerals and in words and the sentence has the word written in its appropriate color (i.e. the word orange is in orange, the word brown is in brown). After the children gather the vegetables, the father rabbit cuts up the vegetables and the mother rabbit cooks them in the pot. The gouache and watercolor illustrations create vivid colors on the page. This book not only teaches colors, numbers, vegetables, but it has a soothing story arc. It could be used in a preschool or kindergarten classroom, but also still enjoyed as a bedtime story at home. Recommended for libraries, classrooms, or as a gift for a young child. Reviewer: Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Lobel, no stranger to gardening--or concept books--serves up a feast once again. It's dinnertime, and Mama Rabbit doesn't have anything to put in her soup pot. Ten little rabbits whine, "We are very, very, VERY HUNGRY!" Papa Rabbit suggests they hop to the garden to find good things to eat. Each rabbit brings back a fruit or vegetable (or fungus) for the pot, counting from one to 10. Each rabbit also chooses a particular color of food, appropriately matching his or her brightly patterned frock. The scrumptious garden finds are boldly placed front and center, perfect for tiny fingers to point and count. Vignettes across the bottom show the rabbits digging and gathering. Besides the obvious rabbit-in-the-garden connection, Lobel's leafy borders and beady-eyed bunnies are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter. Never one to miss a detail, Lobel delicately shades the whisper-thin onion skins and every bump on the potato and also carefully lines up 12 little bowls in the background cupboard (assuring Mama and Papa are accounted for, of course). With gardens cropping up in schools and farmers' markets on every corner, these hungry bunnies are teaching more than just numbers and colors. Good, basic food to feed the youngest of minds. (Picture book. 2-5)