Sue Williams' Dinnertime! is fraught with tension. "Six fat rabbits . . . don't see the fox sneak out of the
trees . . . Run, fat rabbits! . . . That fox wants to eat you, one by one!"
The book is also a counting book, starting at six. With each successive page, there is one less rabbit, but the author
and illustrator don't tell us why there is one less rabbit on each double-page spread. The reader is kept in suspense
until nearly the end of the book, when we see that Dinnertime! does not mean dinner for the fox but cabbage rolls
for the rabbits. The rabbits escape the fox and are snugly enjoying dinner with their mother. What a relief!
Illustrator Kerry Argent portrays the open-mouthed, toothy ferocity of the wolf, his slyness in stalking and jumping
out at the rabbits, and the rabbits' terror in a frighteningly realistic fashion. Williams' rhyming text adds to the tension
and makes for an especially good read-aloud.
Recommended - but perhaps not before bedtime!
Sue. 2002. Dinnertime! Illus. Kerry Argent. San Diego: Harcourt. ISBN 0-15-216471-5.