cover image The Flat Rabbit

The Flat Rabbit

B%C3%A1rdur Oskarsson, trans. from the Faroese by Marita Thomsen. . Owlkids (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-77147-059-9

Bittersweet subject matter is handled with dark Scandinavian wit as a scraggly cartoon dog and rat regard a flattened rabbit lying in the street. Author-illustrator Oskarsson, who hails from the Faroe Islands, is discreet about how the rabbit has arrived at her two-dimensional state, but her shocked expression and outstretched limbs make the scene funny rather than grisly. "I think she's from number 34," says the dog. "I've never talked to her, but I peed on the gate a couple of times, so we've definitely met." The rabbit's plight moves the dog and the rat to act. They carefully remove her from the road, and, after a night of hard work, produce a kite, tape her to it, and send her aloft: "The kite was now so high up in the air they almost couldn't see the rabbit on it anymore." The rat takes a turn on the kite with her, and the last image shows the town from above. It's a touching scene of liberation from gravity, Earth, and city living%E2%80%94though also a startlingly abrupt ending for the story. Ages 4%E2%80%93up. (Sept.)