While We Were Out

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Lee has written a sweet endearing story with just the right ending that will leave little listeners giggling. Illustrations in soft washed-out grays alternate with others in full color. A mildly adventurous allegory with a bit of funny realism in the end. - School Library Journal
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Overview

Lee has written a sweet endearing story with just the right ending that will leave little listeners giggling. Illustrations in soft washed-out grays alternate with others in full color. A mildly adventurous allegory with a bit of funny realism in the end. - School Library Journal
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Much like Stanley's Party (reviewed above) and Bruce Ingman's wickedly funny When Martha's Away (1995), this beguiling book from a South Korean author-artist chronicles the secret life of animals, in this case, a sparely but fetchingly pencilled white rabbit. She slips into an apartment while the family is "gone to Grandma's house." In streamlined white, gray and taupe, Lee's illustrations underscore the low-key verbal comedy (for "She's hungry. What looks good?" the rabbit stands in awe in front of a bountiful refrigerator). As she munches snacks on the sofa, watches a video, then "hops onto the dressing table, picks up this, smells that, a touch of lipstick... `beautiful,' she thinks," strategic doses of color highlight the climactic moments (e.g., hot-pink lipstick offsets the bunny's lush, mascara-laden lashes; later, she dresses in a red gown that "the youngest in the family wore... to her first birthday party"). Wry surprises abound, such as in-line skates that prove too difficult-that is, until the rabbit fashions ski poles from chopsticks; a spread bathed in color shows the rabbit racing through the study. Most unexpected of all is the ending. ("She's had a wonderful adventure, and the family will never know. Or will they?" reads as a caption beneath four window pane-style close-ups, each showing tiny rabbit "calling cards" left in various rooms of the apartment.) Readers may then spot a formerly unnoticed trail of evidence on previous pages, and appreciate the amusing dash of reality amid all the anthropomorphic fun. Ages 3-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Our heroine is an adventurous rabbit who, finding the family gone and a door unlocked, goes exploring. She takes some food from the refrigerator to eat at the table, watches a movie on TV, experiments with make-up and dress-up, has fun with some toys and an adventure with a roller blade, and finally leaving before the family returns. She thinks "the family will never know" about her adventure. But she has left "clues" behind. The simply told and illustrated tale is based on a real bunny, and what could be possibly be creatively imagined about her activities when left alone. Pale, naturalistic drawings suggest the many activities in vignettes. But there are full-page scenes created with exquisitely nuanced colors that make the drama more profoundly flesh and blood. We care about this appealing bunny. 2003, Kane/Miller Book Publishers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-While a family is visiting Grandma, their pet rabbit finds her way into the apartment through an unlocked terrace door. Left to explore, she enjoys all the comforts of human life, including a well-stocked fridge, popcorn and a video, dressing up, a good book, toys to play with, and finally a snooze in a warm bed. The uninvited guest wakes in time to retreat to the terrace, closing the door, innocently hoping her little visit will remain undetected-but what about the unmistakable evidence she has "dropped" behind? Lee has written a sweet, endearing story with just the right ending that will leave little listeners giggling. Illustrations in soft, washed-out grays alternate with others in full color. A mildly adventurous allegory with a bit of funny realism in the end.-Rita Soltan, formerly at Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A charmingly illustrated tale of a pet rabbit amusing herself while her human family is away will be welcomed by Carl the rottweiler’s legion of fans. Soft black, gray, and white depictions of the rabbit sneaking around the house alternate with hilarious, full-color pictures of her mischievous activities: putting on lipstick (" ‘Beautiful,’ she thinks"), eating at the table with a plate and silverware ("Just as the family does"), sitting on the couch watching a movie, attempting to read a book from the shelf, and playing with the children’s toys. Readers will chuckle at her coquettish eyelashes as she admires her lipsticked self in the mirror, and kids will relate to the fact that she can do many things, but somehow can’t quite read yet. Details reveal the Korean setting: an outfit that Rabbit tries on is one traditionally worn by Korean children on their first birthdays, Korean lettering adorns the snack bag Rabbit munches from in front of the TV, and chopsticks dry next to the sink with the silverware. There is more text than in the Carl books, but it’s kept simple enough for the youngest listeners to follow along. Just as Carl does, Rabbit puts everything to rights again before the family gets home, but she forgets one detail: the "evidence" she leaves behind all over the floor is startlingly funny after the sweetness of the preceding story and pictures. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929132447
  • Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 10.52 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2003

    A Must for House Rabbit Owners

    It isn't often that you find a book about a house rabbit who thinks like a real rabbit. This book captures the independent playful spirit of rabbits in an imaginative way. For those with your own house rabbits, the last page will send you laughingly through the book a second time. I highly recommend this book for anyone with a house rabbit of their own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

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    Posted February 1, 2009

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