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Missing Rabbit

Overview

Rabbit goes everywhere with Kara: to Papa’s house, where they eat “oodles of noodles” and play hide-and-seek, and to Mama’s house, where they eat chicken and rice and dance. But one day, when it’s time to leave Papa’s house for Mama’s, Rabbit asks, “Where do I live?” Kara doesn’t know the answer. When Rabbit asks to stay at Papa’s house, Kara leaves her toy behind, but she misses Rabbit at Mama’s house. What is the answer to Rabbit’s question, and how can Kara keep from missing ...

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Overview

Rabbit goes everywhere with Kara: to Papa’s house, where they eat “oodles of noodles” and play hide-and-seek, and to Mama’s house, where they eat chicken and rice and dance. But one day, when it’s time to leave Papa’s house for Mama’s, Rabbit asks, “Where do I live?” Kara doesn’t know the answer. When Rabbit asks to stay at Papa’s house, Kara leaves her toy behind, but she misses Rabbit at Mama’s house. What is the answer to Rabbit’s question, and how can Kara keep from missing him?
With enormous warmth and empathy, Missing Rabbit speaks directly to young children whose parents are divorced and live in different places. Cyd Moore’s whimsical artwork is perfectly matched to this reassuring tale about parental love and the true meaning of home.

As Kara divides her time between Papa's house and Mama's house, she is comforted by the presence of her toy Rabbit.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
For young children dealing with divorce—and their parents—this book is a winner.
School Library Journal

It's the details that move this warm story beyond bibliotherapy. Filled with comfortable routines, silly rhymes, and special games, the text reveals the loving bond Kara shares with each parent, which is echoed in charming cartoon drawings of Kara snuggling with Mama or Papa, cozy and safe in inviting homes.
Booklist, ALA

Publishers Weekly
A comfort to children who "go back and forth," Schotter's (Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane) thoughtfully conceived story addresses the anxieties of very young children living under joint custody arrangements. Kara, reluctant to leave Papa's house for Mama's, leaves her stuffed rabbit with Papa as a way of coping with the hard good-bye. At Mama's house, though, she finds herself missing Rabbit. Kara's parents are on good terms, and they rush to reassure her. "Mama phones Papa. Papa brings Rabbit." Heading back to Papa's, the same thing happens again; Rabbit gets left behind as a symbol of Kara's reluctance to leave, only to be retrieved when there is "too much missing!" "Where do I live?" Rabbit whispers into Kara's ear. It's a question Kara wonders about, too. " `In my house sometimes,' Mama says. `In my house sometimes,' Papa says. `But wherever you are, you are always in our hearts,' Mama tells her." Throughout, little ditties Kara sings with each parent counterpoint the more somber theme ("Late or early, straight or curly, Noodle! Our favorite foodle!" Kara and Papa sing). Moore (the Stinky Face books) contributes endearing, soft-toned watercolor vignettes and full-page pictures in her customary, slightly stylized manner, joining Schotter in portraying both parents as responsible and affectionate, and their two households as equally loving. Ages 3-6. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Kara and her constant companion, Rabbit, have so much fun at Papa's house, playing, laughing, and singing their noodle song, "Late or early, straight or curly, Noodle! Our favorite foodle!" When it is time to go to Mama's house, Kara feels happy and sad. Even Rabbit is confused, asking, "Where do I live?" Time at Mama's house is so much fun! They dance and twirl, then cook their favorite meal, chicken and rice, singing "Can you find a finer treat than ch-ch-chicken to eat, eat, eat?" As the time comes to go to Papa's house, Kara has figured out how to answer Rabbit's question, telling him he lives with her. But who can help Kara find out where she lives? Beautiful watercolor illustrations and gentle, child-oriented handling of this difficult topic of divorce render a reassuring, touching story of parental love and the optimistic spirit of children. 2002, Clarion Books,
— Barbara Kennedy
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A book about the effect of divorce on a child, illustrated with warm, soft watercolors. "When Kara goes to Papa's house, she and Papa eat noodles. Oodles of noodles!-Kara always brings Rabbit.-Together with Papa, they sing their noodle song." The song is painted in a cheerful blue arc over a picture of Kara, Rabbit, and Papa parading to the table with a huge bowl of spaghetti. On the opposite page, father and daughter seriously slurp pasta, their heads close together. When it's time to return to Mama's house, Kara is happy and also sad. She leaves Rabbit with Papa. The child is happy to be with her mother, but she misses Rabbit, and her father returns him. When it's time to go back to his house, she leaves her toy with her mother. Of course, she misses him, and he is returned to her. Finally, she tells him, "From now on, you will stay with me and go wherever I go. Otherwise, there will be too much missing!" While children may only indirectly understand that Kara no longer needs to leave her stuffed animal behind as an assurance that her parent won't forget her, they will appreciate the playful, cozy atmospheres of the two different but very loving and noncompetitive homes. For young children dealing with divorce-and their parents-this book is a winner.-Susan Weitz, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It is very tempting to dodge the issue raised here-just where one does belong in a divorced family of two households-simply because it is so baldly put. There is no way to gain on the matter with any less than mortal resolve, no angled approach, and no exercise of the imagination. Young Kara and Rabbit, her stuffed friend, go everywhere together: to Dad's, then Mom's, then Dad's again, then Mom's. When leaving Dad's one day, Rabbit whispers to Kara, "Where do I live?" Kara decides to have Rabbit stay at Dad's. But then at Mom's, she misses Rabbit too much, and Dad ferries Rabbit over. Then the same happens at Mom's: Rabbit stays, but soon gets a lift to Dad's. Both homes are utterly protective and mutually respectful and welcoming, so that when Rabbit springs the inevitable-"Were do you live?"-on Kara, she can safely ask her parents. They reply that she lives sometimes with Mom, sometimes with Dad, and always in their hearts. Any child who can relate to this story probably hasn't got any issues regarding belonging in the first place. And such a cotton-soft world of divorce will yield no dividends for kids in more ragged emotional terrain. Would that the situation be so easily resolved. Moore's (Alice and Greta's Color Magic, not reviewed, etc.) party-colored watercolors are the visual equivalent to Schotter's (F Is for Freedom, 2000, etc.) sugarcoated universe. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618034321
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/18/2002
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Roni Schotter is the award-winning author of many picture books and novels for children, including Hanukkah!, which won the National Jewish Book Award, and, for Clarion, Missing Rabbit. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
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