In a small town, near a playground, inside an abandoned mailbox, under a tree, there lives an extremely shy bunny named Willow. She leads a quiet, creative life in her little metal home; it’s a comfort zone tucked away from boisterous children and errant soccer balls. Sometimes she allows the tippy-tops of her extra-long ears to poke out of the mailbox slot, engaging with the world just a little bit.
One day, a surprise breaks Willow’s quiet solitude when a small blue envelope floats down into her comfort zone. Inside is a note addressed to the moon. A little boy wants to surprise his mom on her birthday. Will the moon shine extra brightly at midnight as a special treat for her?
Willow is charmed and decides she must deliver the note—and quickly, since midnight’s coming soon and the moon is very far away. She gathers her nerve and embarks on an amazing and suspenseful adventure. There’s mountain climbing, tree scaling and hitching a ride on a bird, plus tumbles and frights, too. Will Willow make it to the moon in time?
The deft and appealing visual storytelling in Shy Willow will ensure that shy and gregarious readers alike understand that Willow’s action-packed journey isn’t easy for her, but with its struggles come rewards. Shyness and courage can coexist, and it’s OK to have your own way of relating to the world. After all, friendships can be forged in a library just as easily as on a playground.
Author-illustrator Cat Min’s sweet characters and luminous artwork make Shy Willow a memorable and moving read. Her pastel-hued illustrations, composed in pencil and watercolor with a digital finish, are a lovely mix of realistic and fantastical. A warm pink glow throughout underlines the warmth of the characters’ kindness, as well as the book’s hopeful nature and its quiet, supportive heart.