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*Farewell Floppy* by Benjamin Chaud
Also illustrated by Benjamin Chaud:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School...

Pomelo's Opposites (Pomelo the Garden Elephant)

Pomelo Begins to Grow

Pomelo Explores Color
Farewell Floppy
by Benjamin Chaud
Ages 3-5 40 pages Chronicle March 2015 Hardcover    

I am surprised this book was published. The message it sends about pet care is disgraceful.

This story is about a boy who doesn’t show love easily. He’s of that age where he doesn’t want to do anything that makes him look like a baby, and unfortunately, this includes being best friends with his pet rabbit. He decides to “let him go.”

It’s hard to like this character because of how poorly he treats Floppy the lop. When they play cowboys and Indians, he shoots his rabbit with plastic arrows, then ties him up and drags him with a rope. He pushes him away with his foot when he doesn’t want him around, and he doesn’t talk kindly about him (“He’s sweet, but not very clever”).

When he meets the friendly girl who finds his bunny in the woods, he reluctantly joins them for a pretend tea party, but he keeps his gratitude hidden. He does agree to help her find other lost animals in the forest tomorrow, but only after thinking, “It sounded a little silly, looking for lost animals just to save them. It sounded like a real little-kid idea.”

The illustrations of the bunny will elicit emotion from animal lovers. His extra-long ears, plump body, and innocent face make him look endearing, especially when he’s left tied up to a tree in the forest by a piece of yarn. I understand what the author was trying to say with this story. The boy sees his pet in a more positive light by the end of the story, having learned what it felt like to lose him. But I don’t think (and I am sure young readers will agree) that the boy deserves him back.

After reading this book, children could talk about proper pet care and the responsibilities that come with looking after a pet.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2015 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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