This book tells the story of Edmond Bigsnout, a “lone wolf” who “had a hankering for some rabbit.” He didn’t want any rabbit though; he craved a “city bunny.” Off he goes on his bicycle to the city, stopping at an apartment building where he sees that a bunny lives on the 5th floor.
But every time he takes the elevator to the 5th floor, he encounters some new (animal) resident who asks to borrow the particular “weapon” he has brought to do in the bunny. He can’t refuse, or he will give away what he is doing.
After each unsuccessful attempt to ride the elevator, the wolf has to return home to get a new weapon to use on the bunny.
By the time the wolf finally gets to the rabbit’s apartment, he sees a sign: “I’m on the roof.” He goes up there, and finds all the other animals up there, having a party. They recognize him from the elevator trips and welcome him as their new neighbor. They invite him to join them, assuring him, “Don’t be shy, we won’t eat you!”
At the end, we see a sign on the wolf’s former house in the woods: “Edmond Bigsnout, Vegetarian Wolf, has moved to the city.” The last panel shows the wolf’s new calling card: Mr. Edmond Bigsnout, Vegetarian Wolf, President of the Good neighbor Association.”
The vivid illustrations by Kris Di Giacomo are delightful and full of visual humor. She personifies the animals in the story in a way that clearly shows their emotions and makes them more complex and therefore more relatable.
Evaluation: This book is a riot, and will be entertaining on different levels for adults and kids. Adults will enjoy the sly references to the board game Clue and to bumbling Inspector Clouseau. Kids will love the humor and the happy ending. All will be pleased by the lessons imparted about the advantages of neighborliness and working together compared to a “lone wolf” approach to life.
Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017