cover image Rabbit’s Gift: A Fable from China

Rabbit’s Gift: A Fable from China

George Shannon, , illus. by Laura Dronzek. . Harcourt, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-206073-2

Winter has arrived, but Rabbit has gotten lucky: he’s found an extra turnip in the snowy field. Then it dawns on Rabbit that his friend Donkey may not be as fortunate, so he deposits the second turnip on her doorstep. Donkey, in turn, leaves the turnip for Goat, who delivers it to the home of Deer, who generously but unwittingly returns the vegetable to its original owner. Once again Rabbit knows the right thing to do: he brings all the animals together for a small winter feast. The artist’s naif acrylic paintings, rendered in rich, saturated colors, are particularly effective in conveying both the winter chill and the effort involved in paying it forward; Rabbit and Goat push the prized turnip through the snow with their snouts or heads, while the other animals must navigate deep drifts to make their delivery. Shannon and Dronzek (previously paired for White Is for Blueberry ) prove once again that they are likeminded talents, able to tackle a potentially treacly subject with understated earnestness and lyricism. Ages 3-7. (Nov.)