The Spring Rabbit

The Spring Rabbit

by Joyce Dunbar, Susan Varley
     
 

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Smudge is the only rabbit in the woods without a brother or sister. His mother tells him to wait for spring, but that is a long way off. In the fall, Smudge builds a leaf-and-twig brother, but he blows away. He builds a snow sister in the winter, but she melts. Will Smudge's wish for a sibling ever come true?

Overview

Smudge is the only rabbit in the woods without a brother or sister. His mother tells him to wait for spring, but that is a long way off. In the fall, Smudge builds a leaf-and-twig brother, but he blows away. He builds a snow sister in the winter, but she melts. Will Smudge's wish for a sibling ever come true?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara B. Disckind
Pen-and-ink drawings, softly colored in the shades of passing seasons, highlight the story of Smudge, a lonely young rabbit who desperately wants a brother or sister to play with. All the other rabbits in the forest have brothers and sisters. But not Smudge. "'Wait until spring,' his mother says, but spring seemed such a long way off." Finally, Smudge sees signs of spring and renews his search. Having no success, he trudges home. There he discovers he has not one, but two baby brothers and one baby sister. Spring has arrived with three special bundles. This warm story of friends, of passing seasons, and the seemingly endless wait for a new arrival in the family is perfect for a child awaiting the birth of a sibling.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In The Spring Rabbit the bunny protagonist Smudge wants a new baby brother or sister, but his mother and various animal friends keep telling him to "wait until Spring." As the seasons pass, Smudge creates children from leaves, snow and mud-but none, of course, can be as satisfying as the real thing. When his three siblings finally arrive, the joyful Smudge builds a huge moss rabbit for them to play with. Susan Varley's watercolor scenes of woodland folk are a good match for Joyce Dunbar's tender story. This can be a wonderful book for young children awaiting a sibling, as I discovered when I shared it with my 4-year-old nephew who for months has been longing for a "new baby sister with a pink bow in her hair." 1998 (orig.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A young rabbit wants a brother or sister. His mother replies, "`Wait until the spring.'" Naturally, that is too long to wait, so Smudge tries three sibling substitutes: a leaf-and-twig figure that blows away, a snow bunny that melts, and a mud rabbit that washes away. When spring finally arrives, Smudge finds a mousehole filled with baby mice, a robin standing guard over a nest filled with speckled eggs (strangely, they're brown, not blue), and frog parents sitting on a lily pad protecting their frogspawn. Smudge's mother then points out to her disappointed son, "`You were looking in all the wrong places.'" His family now includes two brothers and a sister, who later play around an enormous moss rabbit he builds for them. The comforting story is too predictable, bordering on bland. Varley's creature-filled wood is cozy, illustrated with full-page, pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings. Her style harks back to Beatrix Potter's work, but lacks subtlety and humor. A run-of-the-mill offering.-Jacqueline Elsner, Athens Regional Library, GA
From the Publisher

"The prose is tender, and the illustrations are wondrous depictions of gentle woodland life and domestic burrows. Cross the style of William Steig with that of E. H. Shepard, and you'll have a feel for these precise, sweet drawings. Even in a market crowded with bunny books, this one will be successful."  —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440414582
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.08(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

At last came the first signs of spring. All the twigs were sprouting green shoots and the buds were beginning to show.

Smudge went looking for his brother. He looked in the hollows of the trees, but he found no sign of a brother, only a mouse hole, full of baby mice.

"There are no rabbits here," said the mouse.

Meet the Author

Joyce Dunbar has written more than 80 children's books, including the bestselling Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep and Tell Me What It's Like to Be Big. Susan Varley is the illustrator of The Vole Who Would Be King and Why Is the Sky Blue?

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