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Home for a Bunny (1956): Brother, Can You Spare a Hole?

Margaret Wise Brown, Home for a Bunny (Golden Press, 1956)

 

photo credit: Barnes and Noble

A Place of One’s Own, but without the ghosts.

Margaret Wise Brown is, of course, best-known for Goodnight Moon. It’s a classic for a reason, even if it does break its rhythm in one very conspicuous place (“and a young mouse” is missing two syllables). If you’re familiar with Brown past that, it’s probably because of The Runaway Bunny, and I have often wondered how popular that book would still be were pictures of it not cleverly introduced in Goodnight Moon. But Brown wrote a large number of children’s books over the course of her career. Home for a Bunny may well be more indicative of her work than Goodnight Moon. And it’s… not as good. The story (and yes, unlike Goodnight Moon, this one does have a story) is simple and comforting; it’s the diction that doesn’t quite get it. In fact, while it’s obvious from some of Brown’s word choices that this is, or at some point in its development was, meant to be verse, that idea seems to have been abandoned a revision or two before the book was released. In other words, if you go on trying to find the rhythm that you are almost certain is there, you’re probably going to drive yourself mad. Don’t bother, just read it as prose, and you will do well. The illustrations are quite wonderful, and in keeping with the Golden Books aesthetic of the fifties; the bean is much fonder of the pictures than the words, and to be honest, so is dad. ***

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

One response »

  1. Have I mentioned how much I love that you are reviewing kids’ books?

    Reply

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