Bunny Slopes: A Meta Masterpiece

A few weeks back, while giving a talk at Austin’s Writing Barn, Chronicle’s Ariel Richardson held up this little charmer by author/illustrator Claudia Rueda:


Ariel didn’t have to show many pages before I was hooked. By the time I got my hands on the book an hour later, my expectations were awfully high. Happily, Bunny Slopes was just as delightful as I had hoped. (Love it when that happens!)

If you want to craft a meta story, writers, put this one on your list of mentor texts. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Rather than share interior spreads, I decided you’d be better off getting a look at this one “in motion” – via its short-yet-effective book trailer. So please just:

             ***CLICK HERE***

Why do I love Bunny Slopes, besides the fact that it’s just plain FUN?

  1.  Simplicity. The no-clutter background and limited palette focus every bit of attention on the ONE character with whom kids get to interact.
  2. That hole. Oh, the CLEVERNESS of that hole (in the book’s later pages.  Trust me, it’s genius.)
  3. And, looky! There’s even a doll. How fun would it be to pair this guy with the book for holiday gifting?


Bunny Slopes has been named one of the NYPL’s 2016 Best Books for Kids. (PBB note:  Also on the list is Linda Sue Park’s Yaks Yak, illus by our own Jennifer Black Reinhardt! You can see Jennifer’s post about their book here.)

Claudia Rueda has written and/or illustrated MANY other books, including Deborah Underwood’s popular Cat series. Visit Claudia’s website here.

Happy holidays, everybody!


Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum has been picture book crazy since her 3 kids were little, and especially so after her first was published in 2004 (Stink Soup). Recent titles: Stinkbird Has a Superpower, Jack Knight's Brave Flight, Where'd My Jo Go?, Frog Boots, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Frankenbunny, If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party, Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!, and more. Coming in 2024: Parrotfish Has a Superpower and Bird Girl: Gene Stratton-Porter Shares Her Love of Nature with the World. She's also the author of many nonfiction books for young readers, as well as an early graphic reader series, Thunder & Cluck. Learn more at http://jillesbaum.com.


  1. Patricia A Miller

    Loved your description of the book and the trailer. Will have to immediately buy this one for myself….I mean for my granddaughter!

  2. Looks fun. And I like those illustrations!

  3. Sounds like a book B would want! 🙂

  4. Smart, fun, clever, cute and adorable. I haven’t seen the stuffed bunny but I do have the book and it is terrific! Love the trailer too.

  5. This looks like a real charmer, Jill. Love the trailer. Can’t wait to check it out. Looks like your lovely daughter is helping you with your holiday shopping list, eh? Bet those grandbabies have some amazing libraries!

    And congrats to Jennifer too about the NYPL list!

    • Yes! Great to have somebody drop gift hints, Linda. And they DO have amazing libraries. I’m happy to help out with that!

  6. Thank you for introducing me to BUNNY SLOPES. Such a delightful book. I know a little grandson who must have this book. Oh, and his Oma needs a copy, too.

  7. Lindsay Hanson Metcalf

    Ohh, this is good. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Simplicity ain’t simple. Love her art!!

    • Boy, isn’t that the truth, Kevan? And near the end, when she introduces the hole in the page … it’ll have you saying, “Wish I’d thought of that.”

  9. That is one sassy little bunny!

  10. That’s adorable!! Thanks for sharing, Jill :)!

  11. Well, I needed a gift idea for a 3 year old. Thanks!

  12. This looks great! I requested a purchase at our library, but my daughter may need a copy sooner!

  13. Ooh! How clever is that? I’ll have to check it out for the little people in my life. (Which is just an excuse for me to have it, ha ha!)

    • Wait till you see the brilliance of “the hole,” Sandy. Makes you smack your head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” 🙂

  14. Love a bunny that ventures out in the snow, and especially love that he asks the readers to join him. Thanks for the great review!

  15. How fun! Going to check it out now. Thanks for highlighting it. 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Judy. It’ll have you racking your brain for ways to put holes in your own stories. In a fun way! 🙂

  16. Love this! Just saw the trailer and ordered my copy on Amazon! Thank you!

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