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Little Rabbit and the Night Mare

Little Rabbit and the Night Mare

by Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise (Illustrator)

One night, while Little Rabbit is sleeping, a very scary creature appears in his dream. Little Rabbit is so worried about the "night mare" that he can't eat or sleep--and he certainly can't work on his school report that's due at the end of the week. He makes signs. He builds traps. But nothing keeps that night mare away . . . until Little Rabbit dreams up a


One night, while Little Rabbit is sleeping, a very scary creature appears in his dream. Little Rabbit is so worried about the "night mare" that he can't eat or sleep--and he certainly can't work on his school report that's due at the end of the week. He makes signs. He builds traps. But nothing keeps that night mare away . . . until Little Rabbit dreams up a brave and brilliant solution.

Kate and Sarah Klise have created a heart-meltingly sweet story that will empower kids everywhere to face their fears.

Editorial Reviews


"Richly colored acrylic illustrations, with abundant details in both the classroom and bedroom scenes, feature a cheerful, comical assortment of animal classmates and a gentle, attentive mother, which lighten the seriousness of the story." --Booklist (June 2008)
The Horn Book

"The textured acrylics have fun with color, giving more than enough details to make readers want to linger on each page and explore a little longer." --The Horn Book (2008)
Publishers Weekly

Things that go scare in the night, namely anxiety-induced dreams, challenge sweet and sensitive Little Rabbit in the Klise sisters' (Imagine Harry) reassuring picture book. When a school assignment puts Little Rabbit's mind into overdrive with worry, he's visited at bedtime by a frightening "night mare" that carries him away, flying fast and furious. Mother Rabbit gently explains that he's having a nightmare and ultimately suggests a strategy for taming the bucking, horrible creature in his dreams. In concise and smooth-flowing text, Kate Klise adds shades of depth to the realistic, childlike personality of her bunny protagonist. The commonsense advice embedded in his cozy exchanges with Mother Rabbit will also encourage readers. M. Sarah Klise's warm, inviting acrylic paintings extend the story in playful and illuminating ways. In several nighttime scenes, for example, Little Rabbit's concerns literally swirl around his room; elsewhere, the bedding is rendered to resemble a horse. Alternately, the calm and cheery orange-hued classroom setting hums with humorous detail and features a funny menagerie of friends. Ages 3-7. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 4 to 7.

When Little Rabbit is assigned a report on a topic of his choice due on Friday, he cannot think of a subject. As he worries about it, he has a bad dream about being carried away by a terrible creature. His mother tells him it was a nightmare, but Little Rabbit thinks she said "night mare" and tries to keep that creature away with signs and traps. Meanwhile, he worries, cannot sleep, and is too tired to work on his report. Finally, he makes himself look the "night mare" in the eye as his mother suggested, and tells it to go away. He gives his report on the "night mare," gets a star for it, and finally takes a dream ride on a nice, good, "night mare." Detailed but not naturalistic acrylic double-page scenes evoke much of the fun. The classroom has a raccoon teacher and an arbitrary assortment of animals, along with typical objects for the anthropomorphic context. The text ignores the objects flying around Little Rabbit's bedroom, although readers will want to inspect them all. After his wild night, calm is produced in the kitchen for Little Rabbit by muffins baking in the oven, the table set with carrot cereal, and Mother Rabbit in her apron listening to the nightmare story. Lift the jacket to see the contrasting cover. This amusing antidote possibly can help chase away nightmare fears. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

This charming story has the same tone and spirit as the previous books about this character, Shall I Knit You a Hat? (2004), Why Do You Cry? (2006, both Holt), and Imagine Harry (Harcourt, 2007). Little Rabbit gets a school assignment to prepare a report, and when he goes to sleep that night, his anxieties about choosing a topic lead his imagination to create a mysterious dream creature that carries him away. His mother explains that it was a nightmare, but he interprets the word as "night mare." The next evening, the "horrible horse" returns, jumping and bucking until Little Rabbit finally falls off. Distracted from choosing a topic, he attempts to scare the night mare off with signs and then a trap, but eventually finds that he must face it. When he does so, he sleeps well and is able to present his report about the night mare to the class. This engaging tale about a child's imagination and his strategies to confront his fears is told with gentle humor. The bright-hued acrylic artwork depicts colorful classroom scenes, comforting moments with Mother Rabbit, and Little Rabbit's dream world (the night mare is created out of a pillow and blanket). Readers will be reassured by the final image of the protagonist sleeping soundly. This book will stimulate discussions about facing fears and the stories that our minds create when we sleep.-Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT

Kirkus Reviews
Little Rabbit needs a topic for his school report, but he rejects his mother's suggestions of bugs, clouds, reindeer, hummingbirds or stars. "This is my first report...It has to be wonderful," insists Little Rabbit. But the stress of his deliberations leads to worried sleep and the arrival of a scary visitor in the night. Klise's finesse with the use of puns in her story line coupled with her sister's abstract version of a horse (fashioned out of a flowing blanket behind a pillow-shaped snout) aids children's understanding of two distinct concepts: Mother refers to a "nightmare" while Little Rabbit worries even more about the "night mare." As with any bad dream, conquering it within his own mind and making a final decision on a topic allow Little Rabbit to write and present a star-quality report on night mares after getting a good night's sleep. Deeply opaque acrylics take Little Rabbit back and forth between his bedroom and a classroom populated with a menagerie of friends. A worthy introduction to puns. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

KATE KLISE and M. SARAH KLISE are sisters and collaborators who grew up sharing a bedroom (and a few bad dreams). They have created three other Little Rabbit picture books and a number of middle grade novels. Kate Klise, who is also a correspondent for People magazine, lives in Norwood, Missouri. M. Sarah Klise, who is also an art teacher, lives in Berkeley, California.

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