Thursday, September 22, 2011


By Mélanie Watt

(Disney-Hyperion Books, 2011)

In the rapid page-turner You’re Finally Here, talented author/illustrator Mélanie Watt breaks the barrier between book and reader. Her impatient, needy, mood-flipping rabbit character talks directly to the reader. In fact, it seems his primary function is sitting around waiting inside the picture book until someone opens the front cover.

Rabbit provides an exuberant welcome: “HOORAY! YOU’RE HERE! YOU’RE HERE! YOU’RE FINALLY HERE!” Of course, with all that waiting and waiting and waiting for the arrival of a reader, the excitement comes mixed with other feelings. Rabbit has been bored and annoyed and makes sure you know that, too. The tale moves two hops forward, one hop back as our character corrects his less than positive outbursts.

Rabbit is captivatingly illustrated, an artful cousin to Watt’s beloved Scaredy Squirrel, his round eyes as big as his ears. Watt adds simple slabs as eyebrows, all the better to maximize the character’s expressiveness as moods change. The color palette for the book is limited to oranges, yellows, browns, pinks and creamy whites. I crave cupcakes each time I read the book.
I’ve read this book to several groups and young audiences love the fact the rabbit is talking directly to them. No flies on the wall—rabbit pulls them right in. Kids find You’re Finally Here highly amusing. Rabbit is far from the perfect friend or host, but readers will want to come back for frequent visits, experiencing the entire cycle of rabbit’s reception over and over again.

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