A romantic take on hoarding.
Publication date: 1st February 2016 (UK, 11th February)
Too Many Carrots follows the turning point in the life of a rabbit with a hoarding problem and entitlement issues. After Rabbit can no longer actually fit in his burrow, he proceeds to destroy all of his friends’ houses by bringing “too many carrots” with him when he is invited to spend the night – despite them politely reminding him that there isn’t much room. Eventually, after Rabbit’s carrots have destroyed four of his friends’ lives, he decides to get rid of the majority of his carrot collection and share his home – and some carrot cake – with his homeless friends. The reader is thus meant to understand the meaning of sharing.
I’m not saying that Rabbit will relapse, but I’m not sure there was enough character development for him to have realised the error of his ways. It takes a pretty selfish person to leave four people on the street after being the one who made them homeless, so I’m not sure it can be indicative of how Rabbit will act after they have rebuilt their homes. The message of sharing as a good thing (“sharing makes EVERYTHING better”) feels shoehorned in; Rabbit has never seemed selfish, just obsessional, and in fact when the other animals decided to share their home with rabbit, it didn’t quite work out for them. All this to say, the book is entertaining, but its plot is definitely not the tightest I’ve seen.
The illustrations, however, are delightful. Hudson – creator of the acclaimed Bear and Duck – has paid attention to detail, with careful and sensitive features throughout the work. The characters are attractively drawn, and the watercolour effect is pleasantly familiar and expertly implemented. They are wonderfully varied and vibrant, and they definitely make for an enjoyable reader experience.
I would recommend this book as a light read to anyone with an interest in illustration, and in the mood for a humorous work. I think it would be especially appealing to children with a tendency towards benign hoarding. It is a fun book to read with company, making it a good choice for a daytime story.