Hitting the heights with a shiny Caldecott Medal, this simply sweet friendship tale from Eric Rohmann has a well-intentioned Rabbit recruiting a few animals to help retrieve his pal's toy plane.
Mouse notes that there's one small problem with his best friend Rabbit: "Whatever he does, wherever he goes, trouble follows." So when Rabbit accidentally tosses Mouse's new airplane into a tree, the long-eared fellow cooks up an idea for setting things right. With a look of resolution in his eyes, Rabbit gathers a number of animals -- including a confused elephant, stubborn rhinoceros, and surprised crocodile -- stacking them up one by one into a great tower. None of the participants look too pleased, though, and when Mouse tops the pile and stretches his paws out, the tower winds up collapsing with a thunderous crash. Fortunately, little Mouse is able to catch hold of the plane, and he courageously flies in to snatch his friend away from the other annoyed animals. It's a happy rescue for frightened Rabbit, but of course, when he's involved, trouble is always around the corner.
Rohmann's winning book is hilarious and thoughtful, adding just the right perspective on the dynamics between two buddies. Readers will adore seeing all the animals' irked and quizzical expressions, while a central vertical spread featuring the pile-up will have readers wonderfully in suspense about what's to come. Using brilliant colored relief prints to give the antics a wacky yet vaguely fable-esque feel, Rohmann's gentle book will leave kids knowingly giggling and utterly rapt. Matt Warner