Little Rabbit and the Sea

Gavin Bishop, Author, Gavin Bishop, Illustrator NorthSouth $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55858-809-7
In Bishop's (Maui and the Sun) tender story, a young bunny yearns to visit the ocean, and dreams every night that ""he sailed in his little boat with the wind in his ears."" The author's choice to deny his wide-eyed hero the expected closure results in a more powerful work, a poignant and affirming tribute to the powers of imagination. Dressed in a sailor suit, Little Rabbit tries to find out what the sea is like. His grandmother says it is ""wild and quiet, a bit of both."" His father says it is ""blue and wide, never ending,"" and a painter uncle describes it as ""dark and salty, like cider vinegar."" When a seagull drops a seashell at Little Rabbit's feet, he puts the shell to his ear and opens up his mind's eye: in the final pages, he has vividly imagined himself to be the compleat sailor, bounding over the waves. The spare text (usually no more than three lines to a page, often set on an expanse of white space) exudes the quiet rhythms and heightened resonance of poetry, and the austerity of the narrative voice makes a fitting counterpoint to the sumptuous, full-bleed watercolor and ink illustrations. Rendered in aquatic blues and greens with splashes of burnt orange (the color of the rabbits' fur), the pictures radiate a lustrous quality reminiscent of ceramic glaze. There is such grace in Bishop's ink strokes that every page seems animated with a gentle breeze. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7358-1312-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-18317-8
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-55858-810-3
Prebound-Sewn - 1 pages - 978-0-606-18322-2
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-0-613-28558-2
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