Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Those rambunctious rabbit siblings, Max and Ruby, embark on another mishap-filled adventure in Wells's typically funny new book. In a story line similar to that of Bunny Cakes, Ruby hatches a well-intentioned plan to do something nice for her grandmother. In this case, Ruby takes her little brother along to buy Grandma a dazzling birthday present. But Max has ideas of his own, which include stopping for lunch and purchasing vampire teeth "with oozing cherry syrup inside" for Grandma. By excursion's end, Ruby's wallet is empty, Max's tummy is full and Grandma receives not one but two spectacular birthday surprises. Economical sentences consistently pack a humorous punch as well as propel the action. (One quibble: the title may lead some readers to expect that the text includes factual information about currency. All Max and Ruby learn is that spending stops when the money runs out.) Wells's jolly paintings are simultaneously crisp and cozy, depicting Max and Ruby in their characteristically bright outfits, and spot illustrations of Ruby's wallet and bills allow kids to perform some simple subtraction as they read along. A set of instructions for "making money" explains how kids can photocopy the book's endpapers and construct their own bunny bucks; adults won't want to miss Wells's bunnified portraits of the real-life heroes that adorn her comic currency. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Bunny Money is a very funny story about the value of money, told as only Ruby and her little brother Max can tell it. Ruby has dollars to spend on Grandma's birthday present, but she also needs to pay bus fare. Then Max wants lemonade, but buys oozing cherry vampire teeth instead. So Ruby has to pay for soap, the washer, and the dryer-and LUNCH! "'Money down the drain,' says Ruby." They finally get Grandma her present, but the only money they have left is Max's lucky quarter-just enough to call Grandma to come and get them! Comes with bunny money to cut out and pretend to spend.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Take one resolute Ruby, add one sly Max, blend in a shopping trip to buy Grandmother's birthday presentand a money mix-up is sure to happen. Ruby's gift of choice is a ballerina-decorated music box, Max's is vampire teeth oozing cherry syrup. The music box proves too expensive, the teeth drool all over Max's outfit, resulting in a side trip to the laundromat, but Grandma does get two birthday presents that please her indeed. Before that happy ending, however, a lesson on the value of money cleverly unfolds. To help her young audience, Wells provides visual clues in the form of Bunny Money and invites readers to photocopy, cut out, and paste together the sheets of Bunny dollars included, which depict Max, Ruby, and a chuckle-inducing assortment of well-known figures (Julia Child, Desmond Tutu, Fred Astaire, Jane Austen, Jesse Owens) in rabbit guise. In relation to the many math picture books currently being published, this title rates up there with Stuart Murphy's "MathStart" series (HarperCollins) and Loreen Leedy's Monster Money Book (Holiday, 1992). As usual, Wells's line work is extraordinary; with seemingly minimum effortbut with maximum effectthe changing expressions on her characters' faces deftly delineate their personalities. To sum up, Wells's droll humor is right on the money.Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
In the siblings' latest adventure, their grandmother is having a birthday (again! see Bunny Cakes, p. 67), so Ruby takes Max shopping. A music box with skating ballerinas is Ruby's idea of the perfect present; Max favors a set of plastic vampire teeth. Ruby's $15 goes fast, and somehow, most of it is spent on Max. The music box of Ruby's dreams costs $100, so she settles for musical earrings instead. There isn't even a dollar left for the bus, so Max digs out his lucky quarter and phones Grandma, who drives them homehappily wearing her new earrings and vampire teeth. As ever, Wells's sympathies are with the underdog: Max, in one-word sentences, out-maneuvers his officious sister once again. Most six- year-olds will be able to do the mental subtraction necessary to keep track of Ruby's money, and Wells helps by illustrating the wallet and its dwindling contents at the bottom of each page where a transaction occurs. Younger children may need to follow the author's suggestion and have an adult photocopy the "bunny money" on the endpapers, so they can count it out. Either way, the book is a great adjunct to primary-grade math lessons.
From the Publisher
"Wells's droll humor is right on the money." —School Library Journal
"A companion to the uproarious Bunny Cakes , this is a very funny birthday story." —Booklist