PRESS ROOM

 

TRADE REVIEWS

Infectiously enthusiastic about dance and imagination. – Kirkus Reviews

A girl learns to trust her bunny choreographers when planning a dance for a talent show in this third installment of a picture-book series. Lizzy, a white, energetic, red-haired girl, can hardly wait to tell her animal friends about the Spring Jamboree, where she wants to perform. She’ll need help in choosing a talent, and makes several efforts based on animals (“chirp like a bird”; “grunt like a moose”), but they fizzle. Then Lizzy notices some bunnies “with feet in the air”; she knows they can teach her to dance exuberantly. Yet when Lizzy tells her school friends about it, they laugh at her, and she decides: “It’s time to be grown. / No more listening to critters. / I’ll go it alone!” But the bunnies insist on being seen, showing off dances and getting her attention. Lizzy cheerfully realizes that “I can dance to my rhythm and choose to be me!” The book, by the team of Faatz and Trimarco (It’s Just So...Little!, 2017, etc.), includes a useful glossary of dance terms, from “Ballet” to “Toe Tappin.’ ” Faatz generally employs rhyming couplets of sometimes uneven meter. A few lines vary, such as: “It’s just so… / …toe tappin’ / …jump jivin’ / …free stylin’ / …beboppin’ / …bunnybombastic!” The bouncy, vibrant verbs make this an excellent read-aloud tale. Trimarco’s full-color, whimsical illustrations nicely capture the story’s kinetic joy (and depict diverse students). Splashy typography and appropriate fonts add to the action.~ KIRKUS REVIEWS

 

It’s Just a Bunnypalooza champions the power of imagination to bring people together. – Foreword Clarion Reviews

Third in a series for three- to six-year-olds, It’s Just a Bunnypalooza sees Lizzy returning for a lesson on staying true to her instincts. Brenda Faatz and Peter Trimarco use onomatopoeia and a sprightly lead to inspire kids with the joy that comes from standing out for the right reasons.

Home from school, Lizzy is eager to tell her animal friends about the Spring Jamboree, which features a talent show. Lizzy considers choices such as hooting like an owl and flapping like a hummingbird, but then she spies rabbits dancing.

When she tells her classmates that cottontails are teaching her to dance, she’s met with laughter. A chagrined Lizzy decides to stop playing make believe—until the rabbits intervene, lifting her mood so that she can get back to her usual self. This straightforward, encouraging story ends with a dance that puts everyone in a conga line with Lizzy.

The book calls to its audience to embrace their passions, no matter how others respond. Illustrations evoke comic strips and display expressive humor. Lizzy, who is dressed in overalls and sports untameable orange hair, is an appealing, bighearted character with plenty of spirit. Her playful personality comes through in scenes where she rolls on her desk in anticipation or hangs upside-down from a tree.

When the rabbits, whether they’re real or imagined, step in to renew Lizzy’s confidence, it’s uncharacteristically indirect. As much warmth as there is in Lizzy finding unexpected help, and as valuable as it is to see her decide when to accept it, the plot hints that Lizzy is a girl who needs rescuing, rather than one who can solve her own problems. This feels at odds with Lizzy as she’s first presented––as a girl who’s all verve and individuality.

Occasionally awkward phrasing and unsurprising rhymes make this an uneven read-aloud. The book retains the signature inventiveness found in earlier volumes, though, bringing back delightful word-play with “bunnybombastic,” “jigga-wiggalous,” and “ballet-hoo.” An informative glossary offers background information on the dances of the rabbits’ selections, including the fandango and mazurka.

With artful drawings, a quirky character, and its celebration of movement, It’s Just a Bunnypalooza champions the power of imagination to bring people together.~ Karen Rigby for Foreword Clarion Reviews

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS

A Perfect Addition To Any Young Child's Growing Library! – TopShelf Magazine

An amazing children’s book packed with whimsical illustrations that make the story hop to life for both children and parents alike. Children adore animals and sweet bunnypalooza does this book deliver. With fanciful creatures to admire on every page and lessons designed to boost confidence and self-worth, It’s Just a Bunnypalooza is the perfect addition to any young child’s (ages 3-7) growing library. This is the third book in the award-winning "It's Just So…” series. I absolutely love this book!

~ Michael Rowland, TopShelf Reviews

 

Both a bold and tender story that will have readers free stylin’ to their own imaginative hearts– The Children’s Book Review

Third in the It’s Just So … series, It’s Just a Bunnypalooza is a toe-tapping picture book. In it, bubbly Lizzy discovers a new talent inspired by a bunch of adorable bunnies, but not before dealing with a little bit of self-doubt.

The Spring Jamboree Show is coming up and Lizzy looks to the animals in her backyard to help her discover a special talent. Will she chirp like the birds, bugle like the moose, hoot like an owl, twirl like squirrels, or hang upside down like the opossums? No. It’s the “jig fabulo romp” of the bunnies that captures Lizzy’s heart. However, when she hears the kids at school giggle about her bunny dance, Lizzy begins to doubt herself and her fun little jive. The bunnies don’t give up on her, though, and soon Lizzy finds that if she listens to her imaginative heart she certainly does have what it takes to create a “hop-stompin’ Bunnypalooza” talent.

 

Author Brenda Faatz’s experience as a critically acclaimed musical theater performing artist shines through in the pacing, cadence, and rhythmic tone of the text. The words invite the reader into Lizzy’s colorful world that is charmingly illustrated by Peter Trimarco. The imaginative and playful use of words—“polka-loca frenzy!”—beg to be read out loud. For extra fun and fascination, the “Bunny Dance Glossary” included in the end pages describes the origin and style of each dance mentioned throughout the book. Did you know about the 1,800 year-old dance from India known as the bharatanatyam? Or how about the boogaloo from NYC? Fun words with connotation are always a bonus! If you have a reader that you want to encourage positive self-expression in, this is both a bold and tender story that will have readers free stylin’ to their own imaginative hearts without a care in the world.

Biance Schulz for TCBR

 

An original and exceptionally charming picture book story for children ages 3-7 that is unreservedly recommended… – Midwest Book Review

"It's Just a Bunnypalooza" for Lizzy. Ever rambunctious and creative, Lizzy is learning new dance moves from her furry bunny friends just in time for the school talent show. When she tells her classmates that she's learning hip-hoppity moves from bunnies, Lizzy becomes embarrassed and self-conscious as the children giggle at her over-active imagination. From there, Lizzy is decidedly in complete denial that animals communicate with her. She becomes an avid "non-believer". Naturally, the bunnies organize an intervention. Featuring a rhyming text by Brenda Faatz that includes fun and funny made-up words visually supported by the artwork illustrations of Peter Trimarco, "It's Just a Bunnypalooza" is an original and exceptionally charming picture book story for children ages 3-7 that is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections. – MBR April 2019 Bookwatch

Foreword INDIES - Silver

June 24, 2017 "It's Just So" was awarded the silver for "Best Children's Picture Book" for 2016.

"Perfect for children in transitional stages, Lizzy’s story of adapting to a new school is charming and hopeful. Vibrant illustrations and an engaging main character help young readers explore themes of resilience, courage, and perseverance in Brenda Faatz’s It’s Just So …"

Reader's Favorite - 5 STARS -"Lizzy is a wonderful role model for children to emulate as she allows her trepidations to slide under the waves of a new perspective. By opening herself to the FANTASTICAL, not to mention the SCIENCE-SATIONAL, any new experience can become, quite simply, magical, like this wonderfully illustrated, wonderfully worded, wonderfully messaged book, which is just so ..."

 

Foreword INDIES - Finalist                                     Readers Favorite - 1st Place

April, 2018 "It's Just So Little!" was announced as a FINALIST for book of the year by Foreword Indies and awarded the Mom's Choice Award - Gold.

KIRKUS REVIEW - An appealing tale for an expanding family.
A picture-book sequel continues to explore the life of a rambunctious, redheaded protagonist as she prepares to become a big sister.  While there is a plethora of picture books dealing with the issue of becoming an older sibling, this one breaks the mold …Lizzy is a cute and relatable protagonist, someone who wants to be an effective helper and a reliable sister. This delightful volume will likely remain a staple for readers anticipating a new baby.

FOREWORD - CLARION 5 STARS -" It’s Just So … Little! is the perfect book to ease children into having a new sibling."