13 September 2007

My Friend Rabbit-- From Caldecott to Emmy?

Publisher's Weekly reports that Eric Rohmann's Caldecott wining picture book, My Friend Rabbit, will be turned into a TV series by Nelvana (well-known to viewers of Noggin, the cable network for pre-schoolers, who broadcasts many of their shows.) They have turned countless children's books into TV series, including Franklin and Little Bear (now known as "Maurice Sendak's Little Bear. No offence, Mo, but didn't Else Holmelund Minarik write the books?) And for the most part, they've done a good job. Little Bear, for instance, is wonderfully calm and low-key, just like the books. And from reading the article, I can see where Nelvana is going with this one. They are focusing on the relationship between Mouse and his friend Rabbit, a well-meaning, fly-by-the-seat-of-his pants kind of bunny, who is a great friend, but perhaps best in small doses. And that's why the book worked so well; it was a snapshot of a single incident, but the reader knows that there will be more like it, because that is simply life with Rabbit. Do we need to see similar hijinks's spread over a 26 episode TV series? Well, maybe if you're 2-7 years old, yes we do, because anything fun bears repeating (dare I say beating to death with repetition!) But as a reader and a librarian and a guru, I recommend just sticking to the book. It says all you need to know about the friendship between Mouse and Rabbit, and all you need to know about your own friends who may be Rabbits themselves.

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