Cleo Can Tie A Bow

A Rabbit and Fox Story

Children - Educational
40 Pages
Reviewed on 10/12/2020
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Author Biography

Sybrina is the author of The Rabbit and The Fox Learn To Tie Series of Books which include Learn To Tie A Neck Tie With The Rabbit and the Fox in English, Spanish and Tagalog; Ned Can Knot A Neck Tie; Nellie Can Knot A Neck Scarf and the newest addition, Cleo Can Tie A Bow. She also the author of The Blue Unicorn Series of books and has an online book store which features, unicorns, rabbits, foxes, and how to tie books plus gift items related to those things plus lots of bow-themed gifts.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is an educational picture book for children written by Sybrina Durant and illustrated by Pumudi Gardiyawasam. Cleo loves bows! All of her shoes have bows, and she always has a bow in her hair. If you look at her dress, you’ll notice that it has a bow and a sash around her waist. Even her fingernails are decorated with little bows. And her bedroom? Yes, you guessed it. There are bows everywhere -- on the bed, on the curtains over her windows; even her stuffed bunny’s ears are tied into a bow. Cleo learned all about tying bows from a story about a rabbit with very long, droopy ears and the friendly fox who had the perfect solution.

Sybrina Durant’s Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is two stories within a story. Children are introduced to Cleo who then introduces the story about how she learned to tie a bow. In her introduction to the book, Durant recommends that parents share the story with their children, so they can learn to tie a bow along with Cleo. She suggests using long ribbons to simulate the fox’s moves or shoelaces. Both stories are engaging and fun to read, and the instructions given by the fox work quite well. I was pleased to note the author cautions that, despite the storyline, one must never practice bow tying moves on a real bunny. Pumudi Gardiyawasam’s colorful and fun illustrations work quite well with the story, and the profusion of bows on Cleo’s wardrobe, room, and bunny will entice young readers to try their own hands at tying a bow. The author also provides a link for a video version and the “Cleo can tie a bow song.” Cleo Can Tie A Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is highly recommended.

Satabdi

The idea behind Cleo Can Tie A Bow is to teach young children life skills like tying their shoelaces or hair bows.

In that respect, this is a good book with clear step-by-step instructions that parents can use to help their child learn the skill. The illustrations are simply beautiful and span the full page.

Placement of the text is perfect for reading to the child while showing him/her the pictures and the font size is big and clear for children who can read.

However, I have a few reservations with the story.
Firstly, a fox demonstrates bow tying by tying the rabbit's long ears--which, I think, is something young children may attempt to replicate. Even though the author provides a warning telling readers not to attempt it on a real rabbit because it's cruel, I think some curious children may still try it because they saw it in the book.

Secondly, I wish Cleo's clothes and bedroom were not in shades of pink. The association of pink with girls is deep set in our society, so much so that even preschool children tease boys who wear pink clothes or carry pink objects. I feel the book reinforces this stereotype. The fox and the rabbit are female, which, again seems to indicate that bows and pink are things to do with girls.

Perhaps the story could be executed differently.