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A Bunny’s Brief Escape

Komako Sakai’s Mad at Mommy (Scholastic, $16.99) is a classic expression of a lifetime relationship that would be hard to convey better or more concisely. The little rabbit on the cover and on every page has lots to be mad about with a mom who does not pay enough attention when certain TV shows are on and wants to sleep late on Saturday. The little rabbit knows that the best way to vent frustration is just to escape and leave.

So leave the little one does until returning just as fast and reconciling to home — just as simply and profoundly as that.

A 19th Century Re-Issue

The new edition of Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann’s Struwwelpeter or Pretty Stories and Funny Pictures (Anova, $14.99, ages 9-12) has its own Freudian echoes, being tales for older children that Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann made up in 1844 to undercut the moralistic tone of children’s stories at the time.

Good translation in verse and the doctor’s original illustrations make the poem stories seem appropriate for kids more mature than their original recipient, the doctor’s 3-year-old son, as they convey lessons such as don’t play with matches.

Older kids will appreciate the doctor’s indulgence in the wilder side of human experience. The book has a nice old-fashioned appeal that transcends its time and place. It gives a different angle to children’s books that can look like they are for little kids but appeal to older readers.

Frank Lipsius is a contributing writer to MetroKids.

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