Tao Nyeu's fat fluid lines capture every emotional nuance from freshly washed joy to tail-clutching concern. Her backdrops resemble nothing so much as rumpled quilts, and her palette modulates with each episode. It all adds up to a dreamscape in which every chapter's final sentence seems not only believable but inevitable: "Everyone is happy." Young readers will be, too.
The Washington Post
Nyeu…has a crisp palette but a whimsical imagination when it comes to cute animals.
The New York Times
As in Wonder Bear, a large white bear looms large in Nyeu’s latest, but this sophomore effort is a world apart. In three short and endearingly silly stories, six adorable bunnies prove to be the very definition of “victims of circumstance,” thanks to their industrious but clueless neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Goat. The good news is that the Zen-like Bear puts things right; the comically ambivalent news is that the cure often seems as bad as the disease. Thus, when Mrs. Goat unknowingly extracts the napping bunnies out of their hole with her vacuum cleaner, Bear decides the best way to rid them of grime is to hang them from a flagpole and blast them with “the big fan.” Nyeu’s winkingly demure writing, fluidly schematic line drawings, and limited palette (each chapter is keyed to a single dominant color) make knowingly naïf foils for the outrageous acts and outlandish solutions that the bunnies endure. Whereas Wonder Bear was sentimental and loosely (at best) plotted, this sardonic, tightly constructed satire offers spot-on fun for the age group, even as it gleefully sends the primly narrated animal story up the river. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)
PreS-Gr 1—The bear from Nyeu's Wonder Bear (Dial, 2008) returns in three simple stories. In each tale, six white bunnies are lounging around when Mr. or Mrs. Goat comes by and disrupts them. Bear comes to the rescue and repairs the damage. Each story ends with, "Everyone is happy." Although they may be satisfied, Bear's problem-solving methods are dubious. In the first tale, the bunnies are splattered in mud from Mr. Goat's tractor. Bear puts the bunnies in a washing machine (conveniently located in the meadow) and then hangs them up by their ears to dry on a clothesline overnight. Next, Mrs. Goat is inexplicably vacuuming the field and sucks up the bunnies that are dozing in their underground burrow (but not the leaves or grass from the ground). Bear removes them from the vacuum cleaner bag, hangs them on a vertical clothesline, and directs a large fan at them to blow off the dirt. In the final story, Mr. Goat cuts off the bunnies' tales while trimming the bushes. Bear uses a sewing machine to stitch them back on. Don't try this at home, kids! Nyeu's illustrations are silk-screened using water-based ink. The pastel palette and thickly outlined characters and objects are reminiscent of those in Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon (HarperCollins, 1955). The simple language and layout of the book make it suitable for beginning readers, but the art far outshines the unremarkable text.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Three tiny tales feature two goats whose domestic activities wreak havoc on six bunnies until a resourceful bear saves the day. In "Muddy Bunnies," Mr. Goat's tractor splashes the bunnies with mud, and Bear uses his washing machine to clean them up. In "Dusty Bunnies," Mrs. Goat sucks the bunnies from their burrow into her vacuum cleaner. Bear uses his giant fan to dust them off. And in "Bunny Tails," Mr. Goat lops off the bunnies' tails as he clips his hedge. Using his sewing machine, "Bear knows just what to do." Amazingly, the bunnies survive innocent mechanized mayhem and "everyone is happy." Nyeu's naive silkscreened illustrations rely on bold lines, a harmonious palette of blues, golds, greens and browns and simple, repetitive patterns to create a fanciful patchwork-quilt landscape in which idyllic natural forms coexist with modern mechanical devices. Scenes of baffled wee white bunnies spinning on delicate cycle, popping out of vacuum bags and holding their powder-puff tails add to the overall whimsy, hapless humor and total charm. (dust jacket opens into poster) (Picture book. 3-5)
Praise for Bunny Days
Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award
A Golden Kite Award Honor Book
• “Nyeu’s naïve silkscreened illustrations rely on bold lines, a harmonious palette of blues, golds, and browns, and simple, repetitive patterns to create a fanciful patchwork-quilt landscape. . . . Scenes of baffled wee white bunnies spinning on delicate cycle . . . add to the overall whimsy, hapless humor, and total charm.”—Kirkus, starred review
• “Endearingly silly . . . spot-on fun for the age group.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
• “Animal-loving lapsitters will hop right on this.”—BCCB, starred review