cover image Harriet's Hare

Harriet's Hare

Dick King-Smith. Alfred A. Knopf, $15 (104pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59830-6

King-Smith (Babe: The Gallant Pig; The Terrible Trins) again chooses his beloved English countryside as the setting for this amiable tale of a magical hare. Examining a mysterious circle of flattened wheat in a field on her father's farm, seven-year-old Harriet is startled when a hare ``lollops'' up to her and says, ""Good morning."" The animal confides that he is an alien from the planet Pars and has adopted the identity of a hare while he vacations on earth. Learning that the Partian can speak any language and transform himself into any creature, the child names him Wiz. Through their periodic encounters in the fields, the considerate hare fills a void for Harriet, whose mother has died. And Wiz brings about a final, joyous turn of events that guarantees that Harriet and her likable father will never again be lonely. If predictable and a touch slow-moving, King-Smith's gentle story has the same, timeless quality that distinguishes much of his work. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-12. (Apr.)