Spring is coming to Crescent Forest and it’s business as usual for Clover and her friends. Going to school, working at Bunny Express and finding time in between to play in the last of the snow. But it’s not all fun and games for the furry friends. Friends keeping secrets from each other, magic spells going awry, and a competition for one bunny’s heart threatens to disturb the quiet forest’s peace.
Happy Happy Clover Volume 3
By Sayuri Tatsuyama
Age Rating: All Ages
Viz Media, October 2009, 978-1-4215-2658-4
182 pgs, $7.99
Clover and her bunny friends are back with 10 new stories (plus two bonus stories) of the happenings in Crescent Forest. Mallow, Kale and Shallot, as well as Hickory the flying squirrel and Rambler, the wandering rabbit return to join Clover in her adventures. Also joining these friends are two new critters, Forsythia, a doe, and Carrot, a female mole. They contrast and compliment each other as well as the rest of the cast. Forsythia is blunt and outspoken, quite literally knocking some sense in Clover, while Carrot is shy and quiet, except where matters of the heart are concerned. The characters are all endearing, despite all the mischief they get into.
Tatsuyama makes good use of the characters in the stories, which are the real draw of the series. The stories are short, but sweet. They keep a good balance between entertaining the reader and sneaking in a little lesson or two. Clover, the main character of the title, is the one usually learning something. From not jumping to conclusions to cleaning up after herself to doing her homework, she learns these lessons in a hard, yet still amusing way. In "The Rainy Season," Clover slept through class, and so wasn’t ready for the coming test. She prays for rain, which comes, but lasts longer than usual, and she thinks it’s her fault. If she had just paid attention in class though, she’d would have known otherwise. Her heart is in the right place though, as in "Delivery to Sunny Meadow Forest", where she wants to help a Granny Raccoon get her jelly delivered to her daughter in the next forest over. Clover and her friends learn that some things are best left to others. Most of these lesson aren’t immediately obvious, especially to its intended audience, which will be too engrossed in humor and drama to realize they’ve learned something.
Happy Happy Clover is rated for All Ages, but is most appropriate for a 7-10 age range, with no objectionable content. It would fit well in any elementary school library collection. The cutely drawn characters will appeal most to girls, though younger boys may also enjoy it. The charming characters and fun stories makes this a title that I would highly recommend.
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Viz Media.