The Magic Rabbit

Annette LeBlanc Cate, Author, Annette LeBlanc Cate, Illustrator . Candlewick $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2672-3

Cate makes an impressive debut with this (mostly) black-and-white picture book. The Amazing Ray is a magician, and Bunny, his assistant, patiently allows himself be pulled out of Ray's satin top hat several times a day in a “spray of glittering stars.” (A domestic tableau early in the book shows Bunny nibbling gold paper into the proper shape.) When an accident separates Ray and Bunny one afternoon, Bunny spends a forlorn couple of hours hopping around the city before he finds a trail of gold stars and is joyously reunited with Ray. They miss the last train home—but, writes Cate, “two old friends never mind walking home together,” and Ray, in his black magician's cape, holds Bunny close. Cate performs a little magic trick of her own, holding the audience's attention while using no color but the occasional bit of yellow. An animator, she creates spreads, spots and storyboard-style panels that contain a wealth of detail and feeling (Ray's attic apartment, with its souvenir posters and crowded refrigerator door, is especially endearing). Another good feat is the conjuring up of Ray and Bunny, two instantly likable characters. Readers will demand an encore. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/06/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-4207-5
Prebound-Other - 32 pages - 978-0-606-31601-9
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-6685-9
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