Young Reader Review: Hare B&B by Bill Richardson
Author: Bill Richardson
Illustrator: Bill Pechet
Running the Goat Books & Broadsides
Harriet (who is best known as Harry) proves to be a truly wonderful big sister when her mother has septuplets. Seven is a lot, as Harry’s father proclaims, but Harry loves her identical brothers and sisters and happily helps with their care. However, their familial bliss comes to an abrupt end when the children come home from a walk one day to discover that their parents have been the victims of a coyote disguised as an encyclopedia salesperson.
Harry is heartbroken but pragmatic. She knows that she and her siblings will have to fend for themselves. So they decide to rent out their parents’ room and become the Hare B&B.
Putting their assorted talents to good use, their B&B becomes a huge success. But when a homely rabbit comes knocking, Harry suspects trouble and the Hare siblings soon must come up with a plan to thwart their devious guest’s evil intentions.
In this latest offering from highly-acclaimed author Bill Richardson, sly humour and subtle whimsy result in an offbeat tale of family love, hotel hijinks and crises averted (with molasses and feathers, no less!).
The text is economical and understated (with droll references such as the Hares advertising via twitter aka their bird friends) and the sketchy, stylized illustrations are detailed and busy. It is a tale of sibling resourcefulness that offers up positive messages about overcoming fear, for as Harry wisely reminds her now-nervous brothers and sisters, “There is nothing that a smart hare with a good plan cannot accomplish.”
Not unlike Grimm’s fairytales, it is surprisingly dark for its intended audience but provides a progressive approach to justice for the Hares’ ill-meaning guest.
Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.