Little Rabbit's Big Surprise - Story Snug

Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise by Swapna Haddow & Alison Friend

Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise is a gorgeously illustrated first reader with a sturdy hardback cover. It’s such a wonderful little book for bridging the gap between longer picture books and early chapter books and the size and the design give it a really ‘grown up’ look – it’s the kind of book that can give a new reader a huge burst of confidence as they transition to longer texts. I would have loved a book like this as a young child 🙂

The Story: Little Rabbit is bored so Big Rabbit takes her with him to work. They visit various woodland animals, many of whom have problems that need solving, and the rabbits help where they can. Next day Big Rabbit asks Little Rabbit to collect three important things for him. Little Rabbit hopes that they will be used to make her a kite but then discovers that they will be used for something even better!

Big Rabbit is Little Rabbit’s grandfather and Little Rabbit is surprised to find out that Big Rabbit ‘works’. During the course of the day they meet the Mole family, a dormouse family who are moving house and Granny Hedgehog, who is suffering from a cold, and Squirrel who has had an accident.

Kindness and caring is a feature of the story and Big Rabbit is a great role model for Little Rabbit who learns that helping others also has a positive effect on her. By the end of the story she has come up with several ideas to help the animals with their problems.

Alison Friend’s watercolour illustrations are absolutely beautiful and complement the gentle text. They are printed on gorgeous shiny paper and use natural earthy colours which are perfect for the woodland scenes. It’s really difficult to choose favourite pictures – we love the illustrations showing Little Rabbit’s family busy in their burrow at the beginning of the story and my daughter loves the picture of the baby squirrels, especially the squirrel with the teddy bear! The endpapers are fabulous too – they’re full of deliciously fat carrots on a cream background 🙂

Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise would make a fabulous addition to an Early Years / Key Stage One classroom book box or a home library. It isn’t a chapter book, the story is written in small chunks of text on each page which makes it less daunting for a reluctant or less confident reader. Children could be encouraged to share reading the story aloud with a friend or an adult. It’s also a lovely gentle story for younger readers and can stimulate discussions about being kind and helping others.

Age Range: 4 +

Author: Swapna Haddow / Illustrator: Alison Friend

Thank you to Stripes Publishing for sending Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise. We think this book brilliantly bridges the gap between picture books and early chapter books.


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26 responses to “Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise by Swapna Haddow & Alison Friend”


  1. acornbooksblog avatar

    This sounds like such a sweet book and it’s always great to find books that bridge that gap between picture books and chapter books. #ReadWithMe


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a great idea from Stripes. Hopefully they will be publishing more 🙂


  2. Bec @IshMotherBec avatar

    I saw this being given away on the Toppsta website and was tempted but my eldest is too old for it and youngest is too young. I’m looking forward to getting it when he’s older though, it sounds just lovely! #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      My ten year old loves this book although it is below her reading level but the message of the story is relevant to all ages 🙂


  3. CaroleHeidi avatar

    Oh the cover illustration is beautiful – I love that style in books, it really brings the story to life! My 7yo (now almost 8) was a reluctant reader and even though he is now capable of reading more ‘grown up’ books, this style is actually still his favourite to pick up by himself when he wants to read at bed time.


    1. Catherine avatar

      Often children need to read familiar books that are below their reading level and that’s absolutely fine, it’s like a comfort blanket going back to a well loved old favourite 🙂


      1. CaroleHeidi avatar

        As an adult who reads middle grade books for fun – I am all for book-comfort-blankets!



  4. shelllouiseblog avatar

    That is a really cute bunny and the story sounds lovely 🙂


    1. Catherine avatar

      All the animals are beautifully illustrated but Little Rabbit is one of the cutest 🙂


  5. Cheryl TimeToCraft (@CherylInTheUK) avatar

    This sounds like a gorgeous book which would be fun to read aloud. I love the message it gives too and can imagine children would pick up on it easily and mimic it. Nice that it is the older generation too. #MMBC


    1. Catherine avatar

      It portrays a great message through a really heartwarming story 🙂


  6. BookBairn (@BookBairn) avatar

    Oh how I love this book! So cute and filling a gap in the market between picture books and chapter books with something stylish and full of story unlike so many of the others for this age group in the past! #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a gorgeous book isn’t it and definitely stylish 🙂


  7. Chantelle Hazelden (@MamaMummyMum) avatar

    This sounds like the perfect transition between books for young readers! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is but it’s a lovely story for children of all ages, it’s also a great story for younger children to listen to.


  8. sarahmo3w avatar

    That does sound lovely. I’m a big fan of rabbits! I’m sure my nephew would enjoy it.


    1. Catherine avatar

      We love rabbits in books too, we have lots on our bookshelves 🙂


  9. mumjd avatar

    This sounds a gorgeous book. I always expect animal books to be cute, but at the moment my son is reading a squirrel story which just seems too dark imo for a children’s book. #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      This one is cute. I’m intrigued to know the title of the story that your son is reading 🙂


      1. mumjd avatar

        He is reading The Ghost of Crow Cavern. We will be posting a review in due course


        1. Catherine avatar

          I look forward to reading it. I haven’t heard of The Ghost of Crow Cavern.


  10. stickymudandbellylaughs avatar
    stickymudandbellylaughs

    What a lovely book. Any story that encourages kindness is a winner to me. I think animals make fab characters in children’s books. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing with #MMBC.


    1. Catherine avatar

      The animals in this story are particularly cute, we love the rabbits and the moles 🙂


  11. A Rose Tinted World (@ARoseTintdWorld) avatar

    This sounds such a cute book. Will pin for later (my LO has just turned 3) #MMBC


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you for pinning. The story is lovely and maybe your little one will enjoy listening to it now.

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