Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Lida Dijkstra
Illustrator:  Marjie Tolman 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Boyds Mills Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1590785058

Toby is a rabbit who just happens to be soft, furry and... well... cute. Toby does not like this cute image one little bit. He has decided to change it. So he puts on a pair of dark sunglass and he sticks out his chest. He struts around and does his best to look “cool.” Alas all the other animals still think he looks “cute.”

Next Toby gets an ear pierced and has his arm tattooed. He is clearly very serious about undoing his cute image. His friends now think that he is “making a fool of himself” but they don’t say anything.

To complete his look Toby gets himself a very hot bright red motorbike complete with a red helmet and a long brown riding coat. His campaign to un-cute himself in now complete.

As he is stopping at the Zebra crossing Toby sees Tara, a very cute little rabbit girl. When he greets her with his “Hey, baby” call, Tara makes it clear that she wants nothing to do with him. Toby is now so un-cute that he is a “creep.” What on earth has he done to himself and is it too late to undo it all?

Anyone who has wanted to be someone other than themselves will quickly recognize what Toby is up to as they read this book. Sometimes being oneself is boring or ‘un-cool’ and one wants to be like someone else. The problem with this is that being someone else is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the whole plan can fall awfully flat.

Wonderful illustrations rendered in soft colors and a story with universal appeal which has a perfect and happy ending, makes this a picture book which readers will find hard to resist.