BOOK REVIEW / Children's Books: Bookshop window

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The Independent Culture
Let's Pretend Bunny, Joshua Morris, pounds 5.99

Poke the soft toy through the obliging holes and hey presto, bunny whizzes along the rollercoaster, marches in a band, goes fishing and plays with a hosepipe. Risky, perhaps, to teach tots that heads are detachable, but great fun otherwise. Why didn't they have these when we were tiny?

Bunny's Hungry, Joshua Morris, pounds 3.99.

Cunningly inserted into this little cardboard book is a rubber rabbit that squeaks when you squeeze it. This engaging gimmick livens up Bunny's otherwise unremarkable quest for the perfect lunch, and has the advantage over the soft toy version (see above) of being firmly glued into place and thus impossible to lose.

Ketchup on your Corn Flakes by Nick Sharratt, Deutsch, pounds 6.99.

The pages fold in half, which means you can put ketchup on your apple pie, in your lemonade, on your toothbrush, on your head, in your bath and on your chips if you feel like it. Which also means that you can put toothpaste on your corn flakes. All in all, you can have quite a messy and anarchic breakfast, all in the comfort of your own playpen.

Where's My Mum? by Leon Rosselson, illustrated by Priscilla Lamont, Walker Books, pounds 7.99.

No gimmicks here, as a little boy searches high and low for his elusive mother. Is she in the bath? Behind the curtains? Under the chair? He eventually discovers her asleep in bed and wakes her up with some enthusiastic bouncing. Nice, clear watercolour pictures and a story with which children (and exhausted parents) will identify.

My Little Rabbit Tale by Sue Porter, Dorling Kindersley, pounds 7.99.

With a new strip-cartoon story on each double page spread, Sue Porter manages to fit a lot into a single book. Her illustrations are endearing - especially some of the facial expressions. We see Little Rabbit waking up, getting washed (he looks a trifle reluctant while he has his tail brushed), in the playground, out shopping, and doing all the things which nicely brought up bunnies do.

Gregory Cool by Caroline Binch, Frances Lincoln, pounds 8.99.

For slightly older children. When Gregory visits his grandparents in Tobago he is at first put off by the strange house, strange food, and strange insects. As he learns to cope with the unfamiliar surroundings his stand-offish exterior begins to melt. This book has colourful illustrations and direct emotional appeal and is admirable for taking childhood anxieties seriousy.