The Rabbit's Bride

The Rabbit's Bride

by Holly Meade, Wilhelm Carl Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Voluminous cabbage leaves and rolling green hillsides suggest fecund midsummer in this Grimms' fairy tale. Three times, a woman sends her daughter to chase a white rabbit from their cabbage patch. Three times, the rabbit says, "Come, maiden, sit on my tail and go with me to my rabbit hutch." In the loose watercolor illustrations, the rabbit is at first a seductive enigma who cannot be seen in his entirety; his long ears extend from behind flourishing plants as the child resists his flirtations. But as the rabbit works his charms, he grows to dominate an entire wordless spread, and the smiling girl rides away on his back. Ultimately, the rabbit insists that the "maiden" cook and prepare for their wedding ceremony, and a tight close-up of his angry red eyes complements an image of the child in tears. The honeymoon is over, and so is the girl's game. Meade (Hush! A Thai Lullaby) stays true to the Grimms' ending, in which the bride rejects the groom, but adds an epilogue in which the child leaps joyfully into her mother's waiting arms: "The maiden's mother was happy. And so was the maiden." The story becomes a cautionary tale about female destiny, here dedicated "to all the maidens who take a ride with the rabbit. And who with courage and creativity find a way home." This ambiguous story makes an odd choice for contemporary retelling, given the groom's lack of affection and the transitory happy ending, but Meade taps its feminist potential. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A young girl is instructed by her mother to chase away the rabbit that is eating their cabbage. Each time she does, the rabbit asks, "Come, maiden-sit on my tail and go with me to my rabbit hutch." Acquiescing on the third request, the child finds herself carried away and betrothed to this now dictatorial creature. She manages to trick him, and runs back to her mother. Brooding and dark in nature, the folktale loses its effect here, for Meade has changed the ending. Instead of concluding with the rabbit's sadness over his loss (he thought that he had killed her), the reteller adds, "Back in the beautiful cabbage garden, the maiden's mother was happy. And so was the maiden." With these seemingly minor changes, the entire story loses the folktale flavor and raison d' tre. The artwork, done in vibrant watercolors, effectively illustrates the rabbit's changing personality from harmless to demonic, but the effect may be too scary for young readers, and they will not be prepared for this sudden turnaround. Maurice Sendak's somber and intricate drawings for The Juniper Tree (Farrar, 1973) embody the essence of the Grimm tales; before readers open the pages, they know that this tale has a dark undercurrent. While Meade's whimsical and effervescent artwork is highly laudable, it is not suited for this folktale. This story may take some explaining for young listeners and leave them confused.-Tina Hudak, St. Bernard's School, Riverdale, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Cavendish Square Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
11.63(w) x 10.39(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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