Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish

Margarita Engle, illus. by David Walker. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-85286-7
A little rabbit yearns to be bigger (“He wished for a nose as long as an elephant’s trunk... and he wished for a tail as gigantic as a mountain”), but the only things really growing are his “two long, tall, powerful ears to help him hear every loud or quiet sound in the forest.” Tiny quickly realizes that these disproportionate body parts, coupled with his diminutive size, offer a distinct and even life-saving advantage in his ecosystem. Although this book opens like an ordinary animal tale, Newbery Honoree Engle (The Surrender Tree) and Walker (Boom! Boom! Boom!) soon prove that they are subtle storytellers—this “small is beautiful” volume offers readers real food for thought. Walker’s saturated, velvety acrylic pictures are inventively framed and strike an intriguing balance between sweet and sly; even the typography gets in on the act, with shifts in size and color that underscore the narration’s comic empathy. A sensitive reminder that talents and abilities come in all shapes and, yes, sizes. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Michelle Humphrey, Martha Kaplan Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/06/2014
Release date: 03/04/2014
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