cover image Spring Hare

Spring Hare

Eugene Yelchin. Holt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-392-6

Backyard trampoline jumpers sometimes feel as though they can bounce right up into the sky, and that’s just what happens in Yelchin’s wordless fantasy. A freckled, red-haired girl invites a rabbit onto her trampoline, and they both bounce skyward. Is it the rabbit’s daydream? The girl’s? It doesn’t matter. An aerial spread shows the rabbit in midair, fields and forests far below. A small biplane flies by, the rabbit grabs its tail, and it spies the redheaded girl in the passenger seat. Still rocketing upward, the rabbit again finds the girl in a hot-air balloon, a jet, and an astronaut suit in the dark of space. Their tender, repeated reunions recall the out-and-back movement of toddlers as they set off on exploratory forays and then return to safety. Yelchin (Elephant in the Dark) plays the earthy, red-brown warmth of the rabbit’s fur off the cool blue of the sky, and his use of collage magnifies the sense of characters suspended in midair. The action ricochets into outer space and back like a magnificent bungee jump, and the girl’s presence offers reassurance throughout. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)