Sometimes it’s hard to remember how simple details and a few nice photos per page can make for a good story.
When I was growing up there was a long bookshelf in my living room that had books of different shapes. The tallest books came fist, then the Little Golden Books. Then came a bunch of paperback books that were just as tall as the Little Golden Books but wider. The Little Rabbit by Judy Dunn was one of these. For some reason, although this wasn’t a book I read all that much, the photos of the rabbit, Buttercup, sitting in a field with a thick, dark forest in the background always stayed in my mind.
Later I found out that there are other books in this series (such as The Little Goat and The Little Kitten) that are from the same author and photographer. According to the information on Google Books and other sites, Judy Dunn is the author’s daughter.
Theses are short, simple books with 32 pages, clear text (about four sentences per page) and lots of good photographs. And that was sometimes all I needed. (Now, apparently, there is a big book that has five of the these books in it. All the books seem to be in print still, which is very nice.)
Each one that I’ve found so far is about a different kid and his or her animal friend. They are full of little adventures and everyday happenings in the life of a child and an animal. They give a nice peek into what it’s like to have a certain animal for a pet. I for, example, have never had a pet goat or kitten. I enjoyed thinking about what it might be like to go on walks with a pet goat. I’m not sure I would be happy if my goat ate my granola bars, though.
I like that the text in these books tell a story. Often, it’s the story of the animal growing up. In The Little Rabbit, a girl named Sarah learns how to take care of Buttercup and finds her when she gets lost. When Buttercup later becomes a mother rabbit, she begins to do the same for the babies but then has to think about giving them away.
These books were published by Random House. On a corner of the cover, they have a couple of what look like Richard Scarry rabbits holding a book that says, “PLEASE READ TO ME.” Little details like that have tendency to stay with me.
Dunn, Judy. The Little Goat. Photographs by Pheobe Dunn. New York: Random House, 1978. Print.
Dunn, Judy. The Little Rabbit. Photographs by Pheobe Dunn. New York: Random House, 1980. Print.
Dunn, Judy. The Little Kitten. Photographs by Pheobe Dunn. New York: Random House, 1983. Print.