Hop-About

The Adventures of Benny the Bunny and Mr. Rabbit

Children - Grade 4th-6th
146 Pages
Reviewed on 12/17/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite

Hop-About: The Adventures of Benny the Bunny and Mr. Rabbit by Colin Krainin follows two wawas, stuffed animals, as they enjoy their ordinary yet fastidious lives in the Upper West Side of New York City. Mr. Rabbit is a handsome stuffed rabbit with large feet; he loves walking in Central Park. Mr. Rabbit lives with his best friend, Benny the Bunny, and his other friend, Dr. Ursa, a large stuffed brown bear. While doing their routine in the evening, Mr. Rabbit and Benny the Bunny receive an unexpected visitor. Mr. Rabbit's old childhood friend, the shockingly orange and bountifully bombastic wawa, Custerd the cat, the one Mr. Rabbit told stories about, is at their door, and he wants something from them. They don't know it yet, but they're about to go on an adventurous long-distance journey that will unexpectedly enrich everyone's lives.

I was mesmerized by this heartwarming children's book that revolves around some interesting animals. Hop-About: The Adventures of Benny the Bunny and Mr. Rabbit by Colin Krainin is my type of book. The writing is exquisite, and the story is rich in description, fabulous and loyal characters, dazzling dialogue, and unique adventures. I loved it and will definitely miss Mr. Rabbit and Benny the Bunny's eccentric chats. Colin Krainin succeeded in crafting an extraordinary story that charmed me from page one. I would give Hop-About more than five stars if it were possible. I firmly believe that this cozy book that contains pretty illustrations can charm every little reader; it can help them boost their vocabulary and teach them the true meaning of loyalty, love, and friendship.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

If you were asked to change just one thing in your life, what would it be? And would you be able to make this change? Mr. Rabbit, “a rather handsome stuffed rabbit,” even if he did say so himself, without bragging, of course, was challenged with changing one thing in his life. The thing is, he really doesn’t want to change anything. His cozy life, spent mostly in a charming apartment in New York City, is full of walks and time with his friends, including his best friend, Benny the Bunny. Benny doesn’t think Mr. Rabbit should change anything either, but then the past comes knocking and an acquaintance, Custerd the Cat, and they are all challenged to go on a quest to find a missing friend, halfway around the world in the Australian outback. Now there’s an adventure to follow.

Colin Krainin’s early chapter book, Hop-About: The Adventures of Benny the Bunny and Mr. Rabbit, is a classic story to be enjoyed by the entire family. It’s one of those stories where you want to just sit back, cozy up to a loved one, and enjoy the plot as it unfolds with the ease and gentle nature of the great classics of the past. It’s like Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Thornton Burgess’s The Adventures of Peter Cottontail, only in this case the rabbit and friends tale begins in New York City and then ventures far afield to Australia. The author tells the story with compassion and care, leading the reader into the lives of these lovable stuffed animals. Each chapter begins with a cute drawing, suggestive of the plot to follow and inviting the reader to read further. Beautifully told. Loved it!

Susan van der Walt

The Hop-About tells the story of three wawa (stuffed toy) friends living in New York City. Mr. Rabbit, Benny the Bunny, and Dr. Ursa. They enjoy the small pleasures of life and spend a quiet time each day with creative activities. Mr. Rabbit loves painting, Benny writes mysteries, and Dr. Ursa - well, he looks after his patients. One day the arrival of an old friend, Custerd the cat, disrupts their ordinary life. He convinces Benny to help him search for an old friend, Rogo the lion, who went missing twenty-five years ago. Soon the friends and found themselves on the long flight to Australia. Their search took them from the University to Sydney where Rogo disappeared, through the outback of Australia, to Wolf's fortress, and back to their childhood home.

Author Colin Krainin uses this journey to show us the importance of love and friendship. Love lets us come alive the way a stuffed toy only becomes a wawa (awake) after a human child has loved them for many years. Mr. Rabbit and Benny the Bunny enjoy the simple pleasure of living their lives together, and their love and friendship give them the courage to face and overcome danger. I adore the simple line sketches by Joan Platek Krainin at the beginning of each story, illustrating the highlight of that chapter. You can't fail to love the characters, each with unique personalities. We can all learn from the wawas about mindfulness, getting joy from focusing without distraction on everything we do. The adventures of the wawas is an intriguing story for readers from nine to twelve.