cover image Foolish Rabbit's Big Mistake

Foolish Rabbit's Big Mistake

Rafe Martin. Putnam Publishing Group, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21178-2

Swirling shapes in hot colors emphasize the tensions in this fable and reveal another dimension of Young's painterly skills. The closeups of the lion's piercing eyes and great claws stand out among a series of remarkable scenes described by Martin, a renowned oral storyteller. He theorizes that the Jakatas of India influenced Aesop and other folklorists, that the foolish rabbit was the source for alarmist ""Chicken-Little.'' A falling apple convinces the rabbit that the earth is breaking up and he puts the wind up all the other animals who run hysterically to a cliff where the king of beasts halts their leap to ``safety.'' When he explains the foolish mistake, the panicked crowd wants to punish rabbit, but his majesty points out that the elephant, bear, snake and everyone else were just as silly to run without finding out whether there was something to fear. (47)