Publishers WeeklyLongtime author Wahl (Pleasant Fieldmouse; Humphrey's Bear) and newcomer Schamber offer a flat tale about three rabbits disgruntled by life on Earth. After the trio's nocturnal dig for carrots proves fruitless, loud dogs chase them as they make their way home. Deciding that "life might be better" on Mars, the rabbits use a silo to build a rocket ship and blast off with the bunny named Greenleaf at the helm ("He was related to General Rabbit E. Lee"). On Mars, they discover "gigantic green dogs" wagging their tails and "colossal red carrots." The earthlings assume the best-that the pooches just want to play-which is true... sort of. The canines juggle the rabbits "for one whole week," then bat them with tennis racquets and, next, use the smallest rabbit as a bowling ball and the other two as pins. After distracting these Martian mutts by teaching them to jitterbug, the visitors race back to their rocket ship and gratefully return home. Yet, spying Jupiter in the sky, one of them wonders "what it's like there." At its strongest in scenes of space flight, Schamber's artwork offers some comical images, including the twin moons of Mars represented by photos of potatoes. But in many spreads, the juxtaposition of digital photographs with rather garish cartoon illustrations seems jarring. Readers likely won't wish to follow this troupe to Jupiter. Ages 3-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2-Greenleaf, Ouzel, and Peppercorn star in this lackluster tale of an outer-space voyage. With winter closing in, the three rabbits decide that life on Earth is too perilous with its dogs, traffic, and the scarcity of fresh carrots. After building a rocket ship, soaring through the stars, and landing on Mars, they find that the carrots are immense, the weather is warm, and traffic is nonexistent. However, the indigenous cucumber-green canines use the bunnies in place of balls for juggling, tennis, and bowling. With the realization that there's no place like home, the distraught travelers return to Earth. Though Schamber's illustrations are an intriguing blend of cartoons and digital photographs filled with eye-popping colors and varying textures, the story is labored. For an entertaining yarn about a dissatisfied and adventurous rabbit, it's hard to beat Marilyn Sadler's It's Not Easy Being a Bunny (Beginner, 1983).-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsWeary of hostile dogs, dangerous highways, and a general lack of carrots, three bunnies blast off for Mars aboard a homemade rocket, hoping for a better life. It looks at first as if they've made the right choice since soon after landing, they come upon an unattended pile of enormous, delicious carrots, and the local dogs, far from being unfriendly, are eager to play. It's a rough kind of play, however, and at last even the carrot diet begins to pall-so the rabbits distract their canine playmates by teaching them to jitterbug, then sneak off to their rocket for the bumpy but welcome ride back to Earth's comfortably familiar environs. Schamber makes a colorful debut here, combining "Roger Rabbit"-like cartoon animals with digitally manipulated photographs into big, splashy swirls of action. Young armchair space travelers may miss the explosive enthusiasm of Dan Yaccarino's Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon! (1997) or the outright silliness of Arthur Yorinks Quack (p. 68), but the journey is still worth making, particularly as it ends with both a safe return and one rabbit, at least, whose curiosity about other worlds remains undimmed. (Picture book. 6-8)
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