A Small Surprise – Louise Yates
A sign reading “Small Animals Need Not Apply” can’t deter this determined little rabbit, who applies for a job with the circus anyway. The other animals are in for quite a surprise–and they’ll quickly learn that small is special, too.
A Small Surprise is one of those picturebooks that isn’t the most outstanding thing ever at first glance, but it’s really stuck with me. I read it in the store quite a while ago, and I’m still smiling about the gentle humor of the art, the cleverness of the endpapers (which are part of the story) and the plucky personality of the rabbit. You’ve taken the aesthetic of old circus ads but softened it with a lighter color palette, and you’ve struck a really nice balance between cartoony humor and sweetness in the animals. The text is great, too–declarative, amusing, and an excellent candidate for reading aloud. I think you’ve written an ideal book for very young children and their parents–the talents the little rabbit displays might seem unimpressive to a five- or six-year-old, but a three-year-old would probably be delighted, and the palpable youngness of the rabbit can’t be anything but adorable to the adult reading! Four small stars and one big smile! 😀