If I could write a 250 worded review of the below books I would impress myself. However, since there are probably not even 250 words between them (including author, illustrator and text) I think I will combine them into a one review. All books were read via online reader copies and all due in September 2023.
Uh-Oh! Rabbit by Jo Ham (I am assuming Jo Ham’s Rabbit is a series as I also read the total twenty word Yippee! Rabbit as well) is approximately half a dozen words in various situations. They are “Uh-oh!, Rabbit up, and Rabbit down.” And Ups and Downs: A Book of Emotions written and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka is a few more words (no more than a dozen I would say) and they are only the emotion represented (bored, shy, annoyed, flattered).
Both these books are obviously terribly simple and do not have much of a story. Or any story for that matter. As Ups and Downs: A Book of Emotions is just giving us the word. Not the word Bored and what that means. Or a rhyme: Mary is bored so she cut a cord of wood. (Okay bad rhyme but I might read and write poetry myself, I never said I was good at it). Nope. We just see that word. But Wohnoutka does give us an expressive illustration to illustrate the word and concept. Sometimes two concepts are combined (being upset and flattered) such as when the brother is upset his sister (assuming siblings) used his art supplies to draw a picture for him. But it is just emotions done on a simple level and allows the art to do the real talking. The colors are soft and there is decent detail but not overwhelming.
And while Uh-Oh! Rabbit also relies on the art to illustrate the concept, it is much more simple. There are only six words and three colors used; which are black, white and yellow. With yellow only being sparsely used. We see the Rabbit “go up” (on the seesaw). Then Uh-oh! (we are warned something is coming) and then we see Rabbit “go down.” This repetition happens until the last page when something special happens that (spoiler) stops the pattern. The yellow may or may not be important but it does highlight a part of things. And with Yippee! Rabbit, we have four words (I counted eight Rabbit; five Go; four Yippee; and three Stop). These four words show Rabbit (a child by the looks of the actions) doing things. Swinging, riding their scooter, sitting in the wheelbarrow. Their adventures are not always as planned, but they are relatable. I think in some ways I liked this book better than Uh-Oh! Rabbit (I think that is because Han uses blue with a more calming tone as well as it feels as if more is happening), but still I am not the audience for it.