Beware! Ralfy Rabbit and the secret book biter! by Emily Mackenzie
Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781408892091.
(Ages: 3-7) Recommended. This is a follow-on book from the previously published Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar. As seen in the first book, Ralfy simply loves books. But reading becomes a bit more difficult when his new baby brother arrives. Where can he go that is quiet and peaceful? Things get even worse when he starts discovering holes bitten in his books. Who could be behind the biting?
Emily MacKenzie's stories are quirky and refreshingly original. Her colourful, humorous illustrations are joyful and character-driven with a beautiful fuzzy quality. From the titles of Ralfy's books (Char-lie and the Chocolate Carrot, George's Marvellous Lettuce) to the annoying things his little brother does to interrupt his reading, this story will have the whole family amused. Children with younger siblings will identify with Ralfy's consternation at Rodney's noisy play, constant crying and food throwing. When Ralfy discovers that it is Rodney who has been biting his books Mum explains that it's probably because his teeth are growing and he has sore gums. Instead of being angry Ralfy thinks about what he could do to help and returns with a board book for Rodney that he can both read and chew on.
This is a beautiful story about the sometimes messy nature of family life and how these experiences make relationships stronger. Ralfy is still young but he is learning to be patient and to appreciate his little brother and the fun things they can do together. This will be enjoyed by all young children, but especially those with younger siblings and those who just love to read. Themes: Books, New siblings.