Book Review: The Gingerbread Rabbit

Rating: ★★★★☆

This is a mischievous, fast-paced tale, with elements from The Velveteen Rabbit and The Gingerbread Man blithely borrowed and mingled to spin an entirely new story.  In it, a devoted mother plans to surprise her daughter with a gingerbread rabbit, but before she has a chance to bake him, he leaps from the table (having been frightened by the warnings of the paring-knife) and tears out the door.  He commences through the forest, pursued by the perplexed mother, and meets a friendly squirrel and a friendly (and deceptive) fox.  In the nick of time he is rescued by an adult rabbit, who brings him home to be adopted by his wife.  The disappointed mother, having revised her plan to keeping the rabbit as a pet with his own gingerbread house, consults the fox and squirrel on her way home and finally decides to make a stuffed cloth rabbit as a substitute surprise — so the story ends happily for everyone except the fox.

This is an ideal early chapter book, lighthearted and funny, with witty dialogue and suspenseful, fast-moving action.  Garth Williams (illustrator of the Little House books, The Cricket in Times Square and much of E.B. White’s work) perfectly captures the whimsical mood of this delicious yarn.

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Publication Information: Jarrell, Randall. Gingerbread Rabbit, The. Williams, Garth (Illustrator). HarperCollins. 1964. ISBN: 0060533021.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08, First Chapter Books
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Posted on October 1, 2011

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