No! said Rabbit

Publisher: Scallywag Press

When Rabbit wakes up in the morning, Mum calls out that it’s time to get dressed. NO! says Rabbit – but then he remembers that he really loves his trousers with the big pockets. Then, it’s breakfast time. NO! Rabbit shouts – but then sees some lovely juicy carrots on the table. Yummy!

Next, Mum suggests they play outside, which Rabbit refuses until he realises all the fun things there are to do outside: so much so, in fact, that he doesn’t want to come in for a bath, a snack or a drink. Finally, after his bath, mum suggests a cuddle – the only thing that Rabbit responds to straight away with a definite yes.

Ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, Marjoke Henrichs’ picture book will be very familiar to parents of little ones who have just discovered “no” and like to use it at every opportunity. There’s a fine line to be drawn, of course, between listening to little ones when they are expressing being uncomfortable, and kindly allowing them to realise that they can make their own choices.

Throughout, mum never makes Rabbit do anything, merely making breakfast/his favourite clothes etc available and knowing he will want to eat, get dressed and go about his daily activities. In NO! said Rabbit, Rabbit himself may initially respond with a no, but then does what he wants to do anyway. At the same time, there’s also a subtle comment about all the things we expect toddlers to do in their day, and how, sometimes, it might feel like a never-ending stream of “musts” to them. It’s a lovely book, with Henrichs’ appealing and slightly scribbly illustration.

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