PreS-K—In this adventure, Ricky, a shy rabbit, watches Annie playing and dreams of becoming her friend. He attempts to draw her notice by wearing adult pants (oversize orange plaids), walking like a soldier, carrying loads of carrots, then using mud to decorate his white fur with brown spots. He finally decides to capture Annie's attention by donning a cape and mask as an interesting "mystery rabbit." Unfortunately, this terrifies her. After he reveals his identity, a date for a walk is set. The event fulfills his dreams as they walk paw-in-paw, Annie wearing the carrot-chain necklace Ricky has made. The plot is much like Keiko Kasza's Pig's Picnic (Putnam, 1992). Van Genechten's large but elegantly simple paintings brim with spring green, sky blue, and golden yellow. The author's only miss with the preschool audience is that Ricky's longings for Annie are more romantic than platonic. "Ricky feels a tickle in his tummy when he hears her sing" or sees her approach; and, at the end, "Annie's paw is even softer than he had imagined."—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Guido van Genechten is an illustrator and the author of several bestselling children's books, including "Alex and the Tart," "Flop Ear and His Friends," "Ricky," ""and "Snowy's Special Secret." He is the winner of the "Reader's Digest" Award for Best Children's Books Illustrator and the Picture Book of the Year in Holland.