Good News, Bad News

by Jeff Mack

A great picture book for beginning readers relies on two simple, repeated phrases... read more

A great picture book for beginning readers relies on two simple, repeated phrases and illustrations to tell the story of two animal friends, a rabbit and a mouse, and their picnic (mis)adventure. “Good news!” The rabbit holds up a picnic basket. Careful readers may or may not notice the foreshadowing in the illustration: The sky above rabbit’s head is blue, but there’s an ominous wall of gray clouds approaching behind mouse. This sets the stage for “Bad news” as a turn of the page reveals mouse in the rain. “Good news” is that rabbit has an umbrella. “Bad news” is that the wind catches it, blowing umbrella and mouse toward a tree. And so it goes, with rabbit ever the optimist, and mouse ever the pessimist—or just unlucky—as the day delivers not just rain, but a worm in his apple, a bear in a cave, and, the final straw, a friend who is always looking up. It takes a little tantrum, and rabbit’s hurt feelings, for mouse to finally see the bright side of life in Jeff Mack’s engaging, funny story. (Ages 3–6)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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