Night Rabbits

Lee Posey, Author, Michael Montgomery, Illustrator
Lee Posey, Author, Michael Montgomery, Illustrator Peachtree Publishers $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-164-7
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-1-56145-397-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-8567-4
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Posey sets a contemplative mood in her debut children's book. It's summertime, and Elizabeth and her father are at their cabin. The lawn is her father's pride and joy, and he labors over it for hours, but rabbits are eating the grass at night. Elizabeth loves the rabbits, especially when they leap ""soft as shyness"" when it's too hot to sleep. Worried that her father will banish them, she devises a plan to keep peace, leaving lettuce for the furry visitors to eat and pitching in to help with the lawn chores. Posey's languid pace feels like an expression of her tranquil setting, and she depicts both the bond between father and daughter and Elizabeth's resourceful solution realistically. She also displays a knack for description--rabbits are ""quick as moonbeams,"" morning is ""soft and gray, a picture waiting for the colors to be painted in."" Montgomery's (Little Red Riding Hood/The Wolf's Tale) expansive paintings favor the subdued but auspicious lighting of early summer evenings, when time feels distended. His interiors are spare, and details of outdoor vistas are carefully selected--a few stars twinkling above the trees; a pair of dragonflies hovering over the pond; gracefully balanced pine branches framing a view of the yard. Through these well-edited compositions he sustains the story's unhurried, summertime mood. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
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