Rabbit and the Moon

Rabbit and the Moon

5.0 1
by Douglas Wood, Leslie Baker

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A fanciful tale about friendship and pursuit of dreams. Rabbit has always wanted to go to the moon, and Crane offers to fly him there in this adaptation of a Native American folktale, told with a storyteller's flair. Full color. See more details below

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A fanciful tale about friendship and pursuit of dreams. Rabbit has always wanted to go to the moon, and Crane offers to fly him there in this adaptation of a Native American folktale, told with a storyteller's flair. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Once long agoin the morning of the worldthere was a rabbit," begins this gently appealing pourquoi story from the Canadian Cree. Rabbit dreams of "riding upon the moon at night." He tries jumping up to reach it, then asking birds both large and small to help, but they refuse. Finally Crane, seeing Rabbit's dilemma, agrees to carry him to the moon. Rabbit holds onto Crane's legs so tightly that he bleeds, and once on the moon, when Rabbit pats his helper's head, he gives the bird the distinctive red spot it bears to this day. Wood's warm, understated style suits the target audience, but the storytelling is not nearly as compelling as in his Old Turtle. Baker's (A Song for Lena) watercolors are the real draw here. The artist breathes life into the characters, especially Rabbit, who looks as cuddly as a stuffed toy (in one spread, the bunny, as crane's cargo, dangles from the dramatic bird's legs, as he gazes at the earth far below, surrounded by stars). An author's note provides background to this highly visual journey. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Wendy Pollock-Gilson
Rabbit dreams of traveling to the moon in this adaptation of a Cree legend. He soon realizes he can only get to the moon by flying and he asks his bird friends to help him. All except Crane turn him down, but Crane remembers how friends helped him reach his own dream of flying. Through Crane's kindness, Rabbit is able to view the beauty of the earth from the moon. By flying Rabbit, Crane is also changed in ways children will recognize today. This delightful book will complement folklore, Native American, and multicultural units and collections. The watercolor illustrations express the wonders of nature and dreaming.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4--This pourquoi tale is an adaptation of a Cree legend. Rabbit had a strong desire to go to the moon. He could not jump far enough and none of the birds would agree to fly him there. Finally, Crane saw Rabbit's disappointment and decided to take him. In the flight, Rabbit held on to Brother Crane's legs, stretching them into the long legs that cranes have today. Rabbit's bloody paw touched the Crane's head, which gave him his characteristic red headdress. This satisfying story gradually builds suspense as Rabbit tries to achieve his dream. Crane's role adds a theme of brotherly support and helpfulness. Although the storytelling is good, its authenticity as a Cree legend is not documented. The only source cited by the author is Natalia M. Belting's The Long-Tailed Bear and Other Indian Legends (Bobbs-Merrill, 1961), a children's book also without documented sources. The watercolor paintings of the nighttime scenes evoke a quiet, dreamy, bedtime mood, which is in contrast to the active plot. Rabbit and the moon are illustrated with human emotions while the great and small birds are painted with attention to naturalistic detail. Most of the paintings are framed in half-page spreads with facing text. No attempt has been made to incorporate motifs from traditional Cree art. An uneven offering.--Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Kirkus Reviews
Wood (The Windigo's Return, 1996) retells a Cree legend that explains not only why there's a rabbit in the moon, but how the whooping crane came to have long legs and a red blaze on his head. After repeated efforts to reach the moon on his own, Rabbit asks the birds to carry him. All but Crane laugh him off. The two set out, and reach their goal only after a long and terrifying flight, with Rabbit hanging on to Crane's legs so tightly that his paws become bloody (even as he stretches the bird's legs). In gratitude, Rabbit stains Crane's crown with blood—visible to this day. Though Wood pays homage to Rabbit as a trickster in the source note, there's no mischief in the story and Rabbit is portrayed as polite and unassuming. Baker's watercolors are another disappointment; Rabbit's limbs change length and proportions unpredictably, so that sometimes his shape is that of a natural-looking rabbit, and other times that of a human child in a fur suit. (Picture book/folklore. 7-9)

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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