cover image The Rabbit's Escape

The Rabbit's Escape

Suzanne Crowder Han. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-2675-7

This Korean folktale, according to an introductory note, is adapted from a longer story that originated in India many centuries ago. Han's lively retelling, presented with a simultaneous Korean translation, offers ample proof that the tale has splendidly survived the test of time and cultural transition. Heo's intricate, highly original illustrations, at once sophisticated and primitive, provide the perfect complement, scattering elongated figures large and small across full pages (and several full spreads). The plot centers on a turtle sent to fetch a rabbit for the Dragon King of the East Sea, whose illness can be cured only by ingesting a rabbit's liver. When the rabbit learns why he has been brought to the underwater kingdom, he cleverly convinces the ruler that he has left his liver behind, whereupon the turtle brings him back to land to retrieve it. All ends happily in this animated fable, a worthy follow-up to Han and Heo's impressive first collaboration, The Rabbit's Judgment. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)