Ollie’s Magic Bunny
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
Ollie has been eagerly awaiting the day when the rain stops so she and her soft toy Bunny can venture outside to play and now that day has arrived. Attired in a bunny suit, suitably shod, and with Bunny in basket, Ollie dashes outside and heads straight to a puddle for a bit of splashing.
Suddenly a breeze blows past and in its wake a cloud of golden blossom. When a petal lands on Bunny’s nose it somehow magically transforms the toy into a real rabbit. He leaps from the basket and he dashes off in pursuit of other rabbits with Ollie in hot pursuit.
With dark clouds gathering and the water rapidly rising Bunny is heading straight into danger.
Ollie is at a loss as to what to do next until she remembers her umbrella and calling on the magical breeze, she makes a wish.
Rescue successfully carried out, she now needs to find somewhere to shelter. Conveniently there’s a tree house not too far off and therein they take refuge until the rain stops and it’s time to head home.
There’s another problem to overcome first though, but happily they finally return safe and sound where back indoors, Bunny reverts to toy mode once more.
One assumes the die-cuts at the start and end of the book signify the transition between reality and fantasy but I’m not convinced they’re needed. Nonetheless Nicola Killen’s limited colour palette illustrations, with those occasional golden glints of the petals, are enchanting. The story itself is gently whimsical and just right for a spring day nursery storytime or individual sharing.