Milo Armadillo by Jean Fearnley
Here is a charming book about a little girl who just wants a fluffy pink bunny for a birthday present. Alas, as you might expect from the title, she doesn’t actually end up getting a fluffy pink bunny. Instead she gets an armadillo. It seems that fluffy pink bunnies are pretty hard to find, and though she searched high and low, not a single bunny was to be found. So her gran decided to knit her one. Well gran knitted and knitted, but somewhere along the way, she lost concentration a bit and the bunny turned into an armadillo.
When the big birthday arrives, young Tallulah opens up a box from dear old gran….and the initial excitement at seeing a bit of pink tail poking out the wrapping turns to disappointment as she sees the cute fluffy little armadillo. She’s a well brought up little thing though, and she doesn’t want to hurt gran’s feelings (good job there mum and dad!), so she keeps a stiff upper lip and starts to play with Milo the armadillo.
Now Milo is a pretty talented fluffy animal – he can do the high jump…..he can play the saxaphone….he makes a good pirate and great companion at the tea parties. But Tallulah can’t help letting slip that a rabbit would be a better jumper and musician. One day Tallulah meets all her little friends….and let me tell you something….it’s no wonder she couldn’t find a pink rabbit for her birthday….all her friends clearly bought them up. (Demand for fluffy pink bunnies is clearly pretty high. Expect price rises soon in accordance with basic supply and demand). Well, they all think Milo is the bees knees, but Tallulah is still feeling hardly done by….
“He’s cute” said her friends.
“But he’s no pink fluffy rabbit,” sighed Tallulah.
Well of course Milo decides to run away to get himself unravelled and re-knitted as a bunny, and Tallulah, having lost him, suddenly realises how much she loved him after all. But, it’s too late. Nah, just kidding, of course there’s a happy ending and they are re-united, and presumably nary another disparaging comparison to a fluffy pink rabbit was uttered again.
I liked this book – it’s charmingly illustrated. My daughter like it too and grabbed a couple of stuffed toys to accompany the tale. If you like your books with a moral, then this one has it – a good reminder to the little ones that they should both be thankful for gifts and also not hurt other people or armadillo’s feelings. And of course that age old “you don’t know what you’ve got till you’ve lost it” type thing. A good reminder too for the adults, that children are brutally honest.
The book has an added bonus of linking you to a pattern for Milo Armadillo, should you be handy with the knitting needles yourself and wish to patch one together for your progeny. Luckily, you can also get the pattern right here
Milo Armadillo in the UK
Milo Armadillo in the US