Review Blog

Jul 25 2011

The House of 12 Bunnies by Caroline Stills and Sarcia Stills-Blott

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The House of 12 Bunnies by Caroline Stills and Sarcia Stills-Blott
Ill. By Judith Rossell. Little Hare, 2011. ISBN 9781921714405.
(Age: Preschool to Yr 2) In the house of 12 bunnies, it is nearly bedtime but Sophia has lost something. Unfortunately, this is not an orderly, organised household and Sophia has a difficult time finding what she is looking for. But Sophia needs it if the bunnies are ever to get to bed to sleep peacefully so she perseveres.
And the young reader perseveres with her, having the most delightful time finding all the other items mentioned in the text, and, at the same time, trying to work out what it is that Sophia is looking for.
Miss 5-on-Sunday and I had a great time with this book, not only finding the items but also thinking about the sorts of places we could look in the kitchen, the dining room, and even outside as well as the sorts of things we might find there. (This sort of classifying and categorising is the very beginning of information literacy - putting like with like to be organised.) We did get distracted when we searched the piano though, because maybe the item was inside it and the only way to find that out is to sit down and play a few notes! But, because Grandma had had a sneak peek at the last page, eventually we were able to find just what we (and Sophia) were looking for, right where we left it.
This book works on so many levels. Its storyline is engaging and intriguing because the readers doesn't know what Sophia has lost so has to predict; its illustrations are rich and detailed and as well as finding all the items, they have to be counted to ensure they are all there; there's scope to explore colours, patterns and designs; and each page has a different preposition of position (maths and mapping) to explore. It's very clever and reflects a sound understanding of the needs of this age group, so while it entertains it subtly educates. It can be read over and over with something new to focus on each time, and just cries out for all sorts of follow-up activities, both at home and at school.
Linking literacy, numeracy and information literacy can be a challenge but this book nails it. It's a great opportunity to show our classroom-based colleagues that information literacy is integral to everything and that we can offer more than literature appreciation.
Barbara Braxton

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