Red Bunny & Yellow Bunny, by Claire Garralon, (March 2019, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), $7.99, ISBN: 9781492680147
I sent off my Board Books post this morning, then realized I forgot one! Red Bunny & Yellow Bunny is the latest board book from Claire Garralon, who gave us the adorable Black Cat & White Cat in 2016. In Red Bunny & Yellow Bunny, two bunnies meet, fall in love, and have an orange baby bunny! What happens when that baby bunny grows up and falls in love? Keep reading!
I love how Claire Garralon communicates ideas about gender, social issues, and community for our youngest readers. The bunnies are genderless – no male or female pronouns needed; they are different colors, yet come together, fall in love, and have a baby that adorably blends their colors (red plus yellow makes orange, after all!). Bunnies fall in love with other bunnies, regardless of color, and create a rainbow of happy baby bunnies, all of whom play and live together. We saw a similar story emerge from Black Cat & White Cat, where two different color cats have to find a neutral place to play so they can see one another.
Naturally, we also have a sweet story that uses color concepts: explain that yellow and red make orange, and then ask what a yellow bunny and blue bunny’s baby would look like, or a red bunny and blue bunny’s baby. There’s a free, downloadable color mixing resource available on Teachers Pay Teachers, that you can hand out and let kids play with for a storytime activity. Let them fingerpaint and discover their own colors, or grab some Do a Dot! art markers.
Black Cat & White Cat, by Claire Garralon (June 2016, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), $7.99, ISBN: 978-1-4926-3781-3
Recommended for 0-4
I just spotlighted Black Cat & White Cat yesterday, but today’s where I get to talk about actually reading and testing the book out at storytime. The story is simple and very sweet: Black Cats live in white houses. White Cats live in black houses. Black Cat and White Cat want to meet up and play, but Black Cat disappears when he goes to White Cat’s house, and vice versa. What can the two friends do to find a place that lets them have a great playdate? Strike out in search of a place that’s not too black or too white, naturally!
I LOVE this book. It’s perfect for a mixed storytime like my baby storytime, which ends up having a healthy combination of baby and toddler siblings all together. I explained to my parents that high contrast, black and white books are great for infants; they can best see these images. Older siblings get to enjoy a fun story about two friends in search of the perfect playdate while the littlest lapsitters enjoy the cutest images of cats and houses. The use of negative space is wonderful, especially when the friends try to visit one another – parts disappear! We see hind quarters and tails and cat feet; window cut-outs and stark trees add to the lonely atmosphere the cats feel as they try to make the most of a hide and seek playdate. When they finally arrive at a place just for them, it’s a surprise, a revelation, like stepping into Oz from Kansas. Beautiful, bright colors await the reader and the cats, and make for a very happy ending. My babies and my toddlers love this book, my 4 year-old loves this book, and I love this book.
For collections that see a lot of storytime action, particularly for babies and toddlers, this is a must-add. Put together a baby read-aloud with high contrast titles like Hello Animals, Hello Ocean Friends, and Hello Baby Animals for a fun, animal-friendly storytime with tons of fingerplay and song potential.