Everybody’s playing a game, but I don’t know the rules. Everybody’s dancing, but I don’t know the steps. Everybody’s singing, but I don’t know the words. These are common problems most children face at one time or another—wanting to participate in an activity but feeling excluded for one reason or another. Even as adults we experience this sense of exclusion, whenever we run into our own perceived or real limitations. Dancing, singing, playing a sport or a game or a musical instrument—all require us to stretch in some way so that we can become part of a group experience.
In Quiet Bunny’s case, the group is the nightly serenade in the forest, with the birds singing, owls hooting, snakes hissing, wolves howling, frogs croaking and crickets chirping. Quiet Bunny wants to join in, but can’t make any of the sounds the other creatures make. The other rabbits are all quite content to be listeners, but Quiet Bunny wants to join in the song. Eventually, he finds his own unique way to contribute to the nightly chorus.
Author McCue has written a tale that speaks to everyone’s desire to belong, and the need to find one’s own “voice”. Children will find gentle encouragement to keep trying and searching for their unique gifts and talents. McCue’s illustrations are also gentle, with Quiet Bunny being about the fuzziest picture book character I have seen, and the rest of the woodland creatures and environments looking bright and inviting.
This is a book well-suited to reading to children and for them to read along with. When each animal contributes its voice to the forest song, adult and child can join in, as Quiet Bunny tries to sing along.
—Steve Mudd, author
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