American children, to the best of my knowledge, are not acquainted with little Rabbit Foo Foo, the most belligerent of bunnies. Beatrix Potter’s fierce bad rabbit can’t begin to compete with him for anti-social behavior, but her anti-hero is at a real disadvantage, not having been given the opportunity to get creative with a motor cycle or a mallet. Thank heavens a frumpy gran-fairy in a woolly jumper is watching over the woods. Even though she is really displeased with Foo Foo, she gives the rotter rabbit three chances to clean up his act (silly fairy). All the bashing of innocent forest creatures is to be chanted to the sort of lilting, anodyne tune associated with the sweetest and stickiest of nursery rhymes, not cautionary tales.I heard it when we lived in England and was so delighted by its unapologetic rudeness that a copy of Michael Rosen’s improved version illustrated by Arthur Robbins was acquired for the family nursery library. It was a major miscalculation because my toddler-daughter refused to have anything to do with it. I am still forbidden to recite it under any circumstances. So here is the author Michael Rosen, the first Children’s Laureate of England, performing it for fans who appreciate its knock-about British humor. And it goes without saying that no one confined to quarters during COVID-19 is allowed to act like Foo Foo, no matter what the provocation.
Great posting — and thanks for including nice large view of some of the great artwork! — a combination of Quentin Blake and Barry Moser? Ramped up a notch or two!
Canadians sing it! I use it both in my storytimes (public librarian) and with my Brownies, and lots of people know it.
Michael Rosen. He is a treasure!! I have never heard of him, but I am now a fan. I listened and watched him tell the story of the lollypop lady. Gorgeous!! Thank you for introducing me.