Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Authors: Ken and Angie Lake
Illustrators: Vishnu Madhav and Joyson Loitongbam
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
“Little toy, hear this rhyme,
Let it take you back in time,
Tales of sadness or of glory,
Little toy, reveal your story.”
Robin’s grandpa casts his magic spell on the toy in Ken and Angie Lake’s story, Taffy the Rabbit.
Targeted toward preschool to middle school aged children, this small paperback is part of “The Diaries of Robin’s Toys” ten-book series. With no scary or violent scenes, it is ideal to be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated words. Having different punctuation, capitalization, and spelling rules in the United Kingdom, the format may confuse American readers. Written on notebook-looking lined paper with easy-to-read font, the black and white illustrations by Madhav and Loitongbam are simplistic yet understandable.
In this lengthy tale, Boy Scout Robin anticipates going to their annual summer camping trip. When the leader realizes the camping equipment is ruined, Robin is sad the event is cancelled.
Robin forgets his disappointment when he goes with his grandad to the car boot sale (similar to a swap meet in America), where he is allowed to pick out one toy. The boy purchases a rabbit, wondering what it will say after Grandad casts a special spell on it.
When Taffy the Rabbit comes alive, he tells Robin and his grandad that he is a Welsh rabbit and that rabbits are mammals, males are called bucks, females are does, and babies are kittens. He also mentions Wales, its location, and its citizens’ love of Rugby Union.
Taffy tells them a story how he and his friends wanted to go to a rugby match of Wales versus England but did not have enough carrots to buy tickets. The group sold carrot cakes but they were a little short so their parents paid the difference so they could go.
Learning from the rabbit, Robin has an idea regarding making money for the Boy Scouts to go on their summer camping trip. Everyone is happy in the end that they made a joint effort to get something they wanted.
By teaching to work as a group, this book not only focuses on achieving goals, it provides information on rabbits and Wales that is fun and interesting. Children will enjoy reading how a toy’s story reveals engaging educational information while teaching an important lesson.
Thanks to the publisher and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.