Tuesday 6 March 2018

"I Love You Bunny" by Alina Surnaite (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

As soon as C saw the title of this, it was an instant "No, not interested, not reading" and the infamous "Payne Pout" (as my wife describes C's extended bottom lip-grump)...
But Daddy won't be told "no" when it comes to books, and so we persevered - and encountered a story that deals subtly and gently with one of childhood's biggest fears. "I Love You Bunny" by Alina Surnaite is a gentle bedtime story designed to allay a child's fears about night-time and the darkness.

Nearly all kids have a cuddly toy they snuggle up with at some point in their lives (C still snuggles up with a huge variety of different cuddlies, and I remember always snuggling up to a rather well worn and well-loved knitted monkey as a kid).

Cuddly toys can help a child settle at night, and so it is with Suzy, the little girl in this story. She loves her Bunny, and settles down to sleep as Bunny stays awake and keeps watch in the darkness.

Snuggle down to sleep little one. 
But what happens when Suzy wakes in the early hours of the morning and realises that Bunny has gone? Who has taken Bunny, what creature stalks in the darkness?

Where is Bunny? Who has taken her?
Thankfully Mummy is on hand to show that things that look menacing in the dark aren't so bad when you shed a little light on them.

We've seen many children's stories dealing with night time anxieties and fear of the dark, and there are times in this story where things stray a little bit too far into situations that might play on a young child's mind. Thankfully though there is a very quick and timely happy ending once we find out Bunny's fate.

It's beautifully illustrated this, lovely muted pencil strokes and a really beautiful use of light and shade. Really worth a try if your little ones still struggle to settle at night or still want to sleep with a night-light on.

C's best bit: Guessing what happened to bunny before the big reveal

Daddy's favourite bit: Quite a nice soothing and surprising bedtime story perfect for little ones who still worry about the dark.

"I Love You Bunny" by Alina Surnaite is out now, published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).