Hare, by Deborah Hinde

What do you do when you’ve forgotten where you’ve left something? Hare is in a bit of a bother. He had a great idea but now he has lost it. Fantail, Tomtit and the rest of the forest creatures try to help. But nothing works, until Hare has another idea.

Author Deborah Hinde has illustrated over 65 books, including the popular counting books 10 Kooky Kiwi, 10 Goofy Geckos, and 10 Plucky Penguins. However, Hare is the first picture book she has also written. It took two years to complete. “Good things do take time,” she says.

The story plays around the term ‘a harebrained idea’, which has been around since the 1500s. While it was little above my children’s understanding, the word play appeals to adults. This is a bonus, as it will become a story time favourite.

Her dedication and experience has paid off, as her first solo effort is both adorable and clever. Hare is not only gorgeously illustrated, but the story is clever and funny. Early readers will be introduced to mathematical and scientific concepts, such as opposites, colours, shape, size and texture, in this story.

Hare’s story also touches on friendship and loyalty. My pre-schooler delights in telling me the how Hare is feeling on each page and which animal will help the most. A great picture book sparks conversations and questions, and Hare fits the bill completely.

It’s simple, yet very clever. Most of the story is told through the illustrations, and Hinde has done a wonderful job marrying the text and pictures together in perfect harmony.

Hare is a delightful book that both adults and children will fall in love with. While it would make a particularly perfect non-chocolate gift for Easter, it makes a wonderful gift for young readers anytime of the year. It’s certainly become an every night favourite in our house and we will await Hinde’s next release with anticipation.

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Rebekah is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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