My Friend Rabbit, by Eric Rothman, Roaring Brook Press 2002. (Toddler/Preschool)
The fact that My Friend Rabbit won the Caldecott Medal made me pick the book up. The fact that it was a funny book made me buy it.
Sometimes my three-year-old son tries to "help" around the house. Usually his "help" means a great deal more work for me, but the kid means well, so I praise the effort. The rabbit in the book means well, but his efforts do not often succeed as planned. I guess I should be grateful that my son doesn't employ an elephants, hippopotamus, alligator, rhinoceros, etc., to carry out his plans.
Eric Rothman uses a bold outline for his "ink-block" illustrations. It works. The animal expressions are comical, and yet the animals are rendered in such a way it is very clear what each animal is. Cartoony, confusing animals are one of my pet peeves in children's literature.
I don't always like books that won the Caldecott Medal. I do very much like My Friend Rabbit, though.