Children's Literature - Gwendolyn BradleyThe premise of this counting book is that Wilbur bunny is waiting for his bunny relatives to show up for a party; as they come in, he counts them. After we reach 99, it turns out that they are assembled for the birthday party of the family's newborn 100th bunny. Some of the bunnies have funny names, and there are a few jokes (for example, Wilbur's brothers spill juice and drop a cup on a frog's head), and the illustrations are colorful. But there is not much else to interest readers. Straight counting can have a certain appeal, as can a well-done and interesting story with counting embedded it in, but this book falls somewhere in between; it might have been better off without the rudimentary story.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-K--This overly long, overly cute counting book might be popular with fans of Szekeres's artwork but offers little to those looking for plot, characterization, or even skill building. Young Wilbur, dressed in brightly colored party clothes, counts the 99 bunnies in his family as they arrive for a special occasion. The text, written in a breathless, exclamatory tone, is essentially a list of names and relationships: Mama is 2, Papa is 3, and so on, including sisters Polly and Esther (6 and 7), "Auntie Pasto" (23), and 26 cousins with names from A to Z (82 through 99). Numerals are found in both the narrative and the illustrations but there is no real pattern to the counting process. Some double-page spreads showcase 4 or 5 bunnies, while others feature 8 or 10. Szekeres includes both verbal and visual clues about the various characters' interests and/or actions. Unfortunately, the smiling, bright-eyed bunnies all look pretty much the same. In addition, the entire family is shown only once, on the next to last page, making it difficult for young children to grasp the ever-growing total. Those who make it through the first 99 bunnies are rewarded with the news that the 100th bunny is Wilbur's brand new baby sister. Varied page layouts add some much-needed variety. However, there are plenty of better books about bunnies, families, and new babies.--Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
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