Big Mean Mike written by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Scott Magoon
Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Scott Magoon takes a pretty common premise - the tough guy who might not be that tough - and has fun with it. Big Mean Mike reminds me of a cartoon I loved as a kid and still adore, the Looney Toons masterpiece, Feed the Kitty with Marc Anthony, the vicious bulldog and the tiny kitten he adores. Knudsen and Magoon have a ton of fun with this premise and go out of their way to show us just how big and mean Mike is, from his bark, to his spiked collar and his big bad car and brand new combat boots, this is clearly a dog you do not mess with.
Then, when going to put his new boots in the trunk, Mike discovers something next to the "big, tough spare tire." It's a "tiny, fuzzy bunny" who blinks up at him sleepily. And I am sorry, but I could not find an image of Magoon's bunny that does justice to just how darn cute it is in the book. Take my word for it when I tell you that Magoon draws his bunnies in an entirely different style from the rest of the book and they pop off the page with fluffy cuteness! Really!
Some other things Michelle Knudsen has done...
The Library Lion, illustrated by the wonderful Kevin Hawkes
And some other things Scott Magoon has been up to...
Mostly Mosnterly by Tammi Sauer.
If Waffles Were Like Boys by Charice Mericle Harper
Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and the follow-up, Chopsticks.