Janie Face to Face (Janie Johnson): Caroline B. Cooney
Little Critter Bedtime Stories and We Are Moving: Mercer Mayer

The Black Rabbit: Philippa Leathers

Book: The Black Rabbit
Author: Philippa Leathers
Pages: 40
Age Range: 3 and up 

The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers is a lovely little picture book about a small white bunny who goes outside one sunny day to find himself followed everywhere by a big, black rabbit. Children ages three and up should understand right away that Black Rabbit is Rabbit's shadow. But although Rabbit comes to appreciate Black Rabbit, the gag continues throughout the book, and Rabbit never gets the joke (which I think adds tremendously to the appeal of the book). 

Leathers' text is minimal, and well-suited for read-aloud. Like this:

"Rabbit ran.

But the Black Rabbit was right behind him.

Rabbit ran even faster.

The Black Rabbit won't find me here! thought Rabbit, and he hid behind a tree.

But when Rabbit stepped out from behind the tree...

there was the Black Rabbit right in front of him."

In fact, The Black Rabbit could probably work as an early reader, too. But I think that it's best suited for read-aloud to preschoolers just old enough to understand what a shadow is.

Leathers' illustrations are fairly minimalist, too, with just a few colors. Black Rabbit dominates most of the pages, size-wise, but Rabbit shows more character. Despite being small and drawn in streamlined fashion, Rabbit's personality is conveyed through posture and action. Leathers throws in a bit of humor to the pictures, too. For instance, outside of the "the deep, dark wood" is a big wooden sign that says "Welcome to the deep, dark wood". It made me smile. 

I haven't tried this on Baby Bookworm yet, but I am expecting it to be a favorite. This is Philippa Leathers' first picture book, but I hope it will not be her last. Recommended for home and library use. 

Publisher: Candlewick (@Candlewick)
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).