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By: Steve Richardson
Illustrated by: Chris Dunn
Publisher: Impossible Dreams Publishing Company
Publication Date: March 2018
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 2018
It’s early fall and the children have just returned to school. During recess, Jimmy Squirrel boasts that his dad, who owns the largest construction company in the state, is going to help him build an awesome treehouse. This catches everybody’s attention and they all start to talk about what they each could do to build a cool treehouse. Soon the kids begin to challenge each other and the great treehouse contest is on!
Jimmy Squirrel is a bit of a braggart, but that doesn’t stop the other children, Simon Shrew, Arnold Otter, Thomas Fox, and several others, from accepting the challenge. The children are a bit surprised, however, when quiet Paisley Rabbit joins the contest. She doesn’t have a dad to help her, and her brother Davy is sickly, staying home between hospital visits because he needs a new kidney. How could she hope to win the contest?
While the other children, with the help of their dads, get busy building their treehouses, Paisley Rabbit heads to the library to do research. Next, while the other treehouses begin to take shape, Paisley Rabbit heads to town for some important meetings… The other children don’t know about the meetings, only that Paisley Rabbit hasn’t started building her treehouse. She certainly doesn’t stand a chance of winning the contest.
Paisley Rabbit and the Treehouse Contest was a fun story about one very determined little rabbit. The boastful Jimmy Squirrel managed to scare off a few of the other contestants simply by his repeated bold statements about his treehouse, but Paisley Rabbit didn’t let her friend’s comments bother her. She quietly, and with great determination, went about with her plan. A clever aspect to the story is that the reader isn’t given enough information to know exactly what the rabbit is doing. There’s a bit of a mystery behind her treehouse – just what is she doing? – that add an extra element of fun to the story. And no review of this book would be complete without mention of the absolutely fantastic illustrations that accompany the tale. Chris Dunn’s watercolor paintings are stunning and really carry the story to a whole new dimension. Finally, there is a fair amount of text, making this suitable for a “read-together” for six year olds, and a good tale for slightly older readers. The author has also provided a lesson plan that meets Common Core State Standards on his website.
Quill says: A delightful story about a young rabbit who won’t give up – leading to amazing results.