It’s wild to me how easily one can forget huge staples of their childhood. Then, somehow, one tiny reminder bursts up out of nowhere and suddenly the memories all come rushing back. I cannot for the life of me recall why Little Rabbit Foo Foo, this particular version by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Arthur Robins was something my mother loved enough for us to own the book. But it was. And thus, here we are.
The story is simple, something I think was based upon a children’s song. Foo Foo is a horrid little creature who rides around the forest gathering up creatures and smacking them on the head with his little red mallet. Of course, a good fairy sets out to protect the creatures but also wants to offer Foo Foo the chance to become a better bunny. Thus she gives him three chances to change his ways or be turned into a goon!
The Usefulness of Such a Threat
I’m not entirely sure what is so problematic about being turned into a goon that makes the fairy think this will change Foo Foo’s wicked ways. Why is this the punishment? Is it so Foo Foo looks as awful outside as he is inside? Does it prevent him from being able to continue riding around acting like a menace? Why is the good fairy resorting to threats in the first place? How good is that?
There are just so many unanswered questions and I don’t think I’ve ever understood this story fully. And sure, maybe there’s a moral of ‘if you do rotten things to others, rotten things will happen to you’ and consequences exist and all that. But, ultimately, what is this book really teaching? I’m not sure.
Rabbit Foo Foo vs. Goon Foo Foo
The artwork in the book is cute and well done. There are various moments in which you can see the disdain Foo Foo has for doing the right thing clear as day on his face. I honestly find this fascinating and brilliant. The artist did such an excellent job of capturing the bully of a bunny in his facial expressions. I love when an illustrator is really able to make you feel things.
Honestly, while Foo Foo himself is probably my favorite, the other creatures were also wonderful. What I did not like, however, was the good fairy. She just looked kind of blah and haggard and not at all what I’d imagine when picturing a good fairy. Then there’s the goon rendition, which I have to say was incredible when compared to his initial form.
Riding Through the Forest
So, Foo Foo’s is a cautionary tale. It’s one that tells us there are consequences for horrible behavior. And yes, I probably rated this book a tad higher than I might have had it not been something from my childhood. But, with that said, I still think this is a pretty fun and worthwhile read. Plus, apparently there’s a song!
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.