cover image Rabbit and the Motorbike

Rabbit and the Motorbike

Kate Hoefler, illus. by Sarah Jacoby. Chronicle, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7090-9

Timid Rabbit sticks close to home, where his friend Dog regales him daily with tales of his motorbike adventures as a young dog, including “the places he’d felt most alive, where he’d howled at the moon.” In textural watercolor and mixed-media spreads, Jacoby (Forever or a Day) renders Dog as a dashing terrier in a black leather jacket; Rabbit, wearing blue overalls, exudes emotion. In a depiction of a vicarious, imagined ride, the two zoom across a spread, leaving a ribbon of color behind them. Then one day, Dog doesn’t appear, and grieving Rabbit finds himself the owner of a motorbike. Hoefler (Great Big Things) describes Rabbit’s trepidation and conflicted feelings with lilting prose: “He hoped the bike would like not going anywhere.” But at his own, inch-by-inch rate, he conquers his fear. When he does set out at last, Jacoby’s spreads of the towering trees and expansive beaches he discovers deliver excitement and triumph. Alongside its elements of risk and loud noise, the story’s treatment of death and anxiety makes it a quiet, inward-turned tale. Ages 5–8. [em]Agent: Steve Malk, Writers House. (Sept.) [/em]