The Children’s Book Review | July 9, 2016
Written and illustrated by Emily MacKenzie
Age Range: 2-7
Hardback: 32 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books (2016)
What to expect: Reading, Animals, Risk, Consequences, Acceptance, Libraries, Friendship
Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar shows us that being different from your peers is perfectly fine…as long as you don’t break any laws.
In her debut picture book, Emily MacKenzie introduces us to Ralfy, a rather uncommon rabbit. Rather than munch on carrots or romp in the meadow like most bunnies, Ralfy prefers to read (and read and read). Ralfy loves books not just for their ability to take him to new worlds, but for their smell and the sound of their pages turning. His passion for reading is so great that he begins to steal books from people’s homes. His thievery is soon discovered by Arthur, a young boy who loves books as much as Ralfy. Though no one believes him at first, Arthur eventually proves that Ralfy is a book burglar (with the help of a policeman and an amusingly clever rabbit line-up). Fortunately for Ralfy, Arthur forgives the misguided rabbit because he understands the powerful pull books can have on a person (or bunny). Arthur gives Ralfy a great gift; he takes him to the library, where he can (legally) satisfy his hunger for books.
MacKenzie’s text is sweetly amusing without being precious, and smart without being over-the-heads of children. Her watercolor and ink illustrations provide a pleasant, cartoon-like background to her story. The pictures perfectly accompany the text on the page without distracting from the plot. When you stop to appreciate the sophisticated ease of MacKenzie’s writing and illustrating style, it is hard to believe this is a debut book.
Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar gives kids a healthy dose of fun and cuteness while highlighting the joy of reading. Beyond all the amusement, this book delivers a weighty and incredibly important message: never hide your true self. If you express yourself honestly and are proud of your interests, you will find others who share your passion.
Add this book to your collection: Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar
About Emily MacKenzie
Emily Mackenzie is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in Edinburgh who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. Working mainly with ink, digital collage and screen printing, Emily’s illustrative work draws from childhood memories, an inquisitive nature and a vivid imagination. As well as drawing, Emily loves knitting and generally gets very excited about anything bright and colourful! This is Emily’s first picture book. She lives in Edinburgh.
“Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar,” written and illustrated by Emily Mackenzie, was reviewed by Kelley Smith. Discover more books like “Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar” by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Acceptance, Animals, Friendship, Libraries, Rabbits, and Reading.