Reviews for Very Big Carrot

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #2
Detailed, saturated color illustrations with humorous depictions of six rabbits of varying shapes and sizes steal the show in this slight, lighthearted French import. The rabbits find a huge carrot, and they immediately begin coming up with ideas on how to best utilize the unusual find. Should it be used as a boat? A plane? In a garden? The pink-cheeked rabbits work as a team, whether carrying the carrot (note the shortest bunny), dancing in a chorus line, fishing, or watering their garden in spiffy straw hats perched on the tips of their ears. The tongue-in-cheek question-and-answer format will draw children into the story, though the small rectangular format dictates the book be shared with an intimate group or one-on-one. Pair this with Ed Young's Seven Blind Mice (1992), both stories of animals that neatly combine cluelessness and vivid imaginations. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Six rabbits dig up a giant carrot and try to decide what to do with it. Sail it like a boat? Turn it into a house? This small-scale book's premise is faulty--readers will wonder from the start: does it really not immediately occur to these rabbits to eat the carrot?--but Tone's shimmery painterly art is a mitigating factor.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 June #1
Decorative design? Yes. Scintillating story? Not so much. The small trim size (6 inches by 8 inches) makes a slightly larger-than–life-sized carrot seem very big indeed; it never actually fits on the double-page spreads. Six puffy rabbits with indistinguishable personalities find the vegetable and then wonder what to do with it--five times. The repetitive syntax and vocabulary make the text sound like it escaped from an early reader: "What else could they do with the very big carrot? Maybe they could…." After making it into a boat, airplane, sky garden and house, they eat it. The end. Tone has an eye for pattern and composition. The cover is indicative of her style: Six white rabbits sit in a row on top of a circular orange base. They are shaded by a triangular, fringed canopy of carrot leaves. Delicate green fronds fill every inch around the base, while circular, veined leaves in shades of tangerine and peach, dotted with white stars, bleed off the top of the jacket. This will likely appeal to adults who appreciate adorned surfaces. For engaging storytelling, stick with Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny or try Aaron Reynold and Peter Brown's Creepy Carrots (2012). There is not enough humor, emotion, action or conflict, nor are there sufficient details for children to notice in the visual narrative, to encourage repeated readings. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 May #3

When six rabbits happen upon an enormous carrot, not even the sky is the limit, as Tone demonstrates in this visually inventive story first published in France. "What could they do with the very big carrot?" she asks, using repetition to take readers through each possibility. "Maybe they could make it into a boat... and say hello to all the fishes!" The rabbits' carrot boat defies logic--and the laws of nature--as the giant orange root becomes not the vessel, but the sail; the rabbits clutch fishing poles while sitting atop the carrot's fronts, which take the shape of a boat. Tiny though they are, Tone's rabbits and their humorously synchronized movements command attention on each spread; with their Buddha-like white bodies, they resemble peeled pears. In one scene, as they contemplate turning the carrot into an airplane, they march upside down, walking on their ears as though they were legs. The ending isn't too surprising--for a rabbit, there's really only one thing to be done with a carrot, no matter how large--but getting there is a delight. Ages 2-6. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 December

PreS-Gr 2--A fine blend of simple narrative and distinctive illustrations presents tiny, pear-shaped rabbits, trowel and pail in hand, who discover "a very big carrot!" The next spread shows them hoisting their find horizontally over their heads: "They dug up the very big carrot and tried to think of the very best way to use it." The bunnies are then depicted holding hands and standing in a line on the top of the vertical root: "What could they do with the very big carrot? Maybe they could make it into a boat…." Upside down, it floats on a big, blue sea with the rabbits riding on the leafy greens and the orange portion serving as a sail. Then they stand atop the carrot, now horizontal, and twirl their ears like propellers: "Maybe they could make it into an airplane." And off they fly. After the rabbits turn it into "the most beautiful garden ever!" and then into a castle, they think of one more thing: "They could EAT the very big carrot!" The small size and detailed illustrations of this oblong picture book make it suited for lapsits or small-group sharing. It will spark conversations about rabbits, gardening, construction, the limits of gravity and motion, and the boundless power of the imagination. A wonderful addition.--Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI

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