The idea that you can have too much of a good thing is a difficult one for even adults to grasp (see: all you can eat ice cream sundae bars, this house made entirely of LEGO®s, and 27 seasons of The Simpsons). Fortunately, our Picture Book of the Month for March, Too Many Carrots, by Katy Hudson, brings home the lesson that more is not always better with style, wit, and an abundance of adorable woodland creatures (not to mention root vegetables).
The book opens with an introduction to Rabbit, a rotund grey and white fellow who has a passion for carrots. He just really loves them; so much so that he collects carrots everywhere he goes, storing them all away in his cozy underground burrow. But Rabbit’s love for carrots is getting in the way of his life, he soon discovers, because his cozy hole is so filled with carrots that he can’t even sleep there anymore.
Fortunately, Rabbit has some friends he can lean on in his time of need. (Unfortunately, none of those friends is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up author Marie Kondo, who would encourage him let go of any of his carrots that don’t spark joy.) Tortoise is the first to offer Rabbit a place to stay inside his homey shell, but, although the illustrations of Rabbit and Tortoise poking their heads out of Tortoise’s shell together are hilarious, that living arrangement doesn’t work for long. Soon Rabbit and Tortoise take a tumble down a hill, cracking the pretty shell—and now they both need a new place to live.
Next Rabbit shrewdly invites himself and Tortoise up for a visit to Bird’s comfy nest. Bird reluctantly agrees to host them, even though his teeny home is a tight fit for the trio. And when Rabbit hauls his entire stash of carrots up into the tree along with him, the branch holding up Bird’s nest breaks, sending everyone tumbling to the ground.
Fortunately, Rabbit, Tortoise, and a ruffled Bird are soon welcomed to stay in Squirrel’s sweet tree trunk home—but when Rabbit insists on stuffing it full of his precious carrots, the trunk splits open. Now Squirrel’s home is also ruined.
Beaver to the rescue! Beaver’s quaint River Cottage has quite a lot of space for everyone—it’s probably bigger than your average New York City studio apartment—but not once Rabbit has invited his carrot entourage. In fact, shortly after it begins to rain, Beaver’s overstuffed abode collapses into a carroty heap, sweeping everyone down the river.
As he looks around at his four pals, who are left wet, bedraggled, and without a place to call home, Rabbit realizes that there’s only one thing he can do to salvage this situation, and that is to get rid of his surplus of carrots for the sake of keeping his friends. He combines both goals, brilliantly, by inviting everyone over to his house for a Carrot Party—complete with all sorts of carrot-themed treats, from carrot cake, to carrot soup. Because Rabbit has learned, the hard way, “carrots weren’t for collecting—they were for SHARING!”
With bright and lively illustrations and a sweet message about the importance of friendship, Too Many Carrots is the perfect picture book to share with your little bunnies this spring. It may even inspire some spring cleaning in your own cozy burrow.
Too Many Carrots is on shelves now.