Book Review: Rabbit & Squirrel – A Tale of War & Peas
Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War & Peas
By Kara LaReau
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Harcourt Children’s Books
Judging someone before you know them is not a spry notion in children’s books. However, in “Rabbit & Squirrel” this well tread path is updated with fresh and entertaining results. Just in time for new audiences to enjoy.
Both Rabbit and Squirrel both tend their gardens and keep to themselves. Located right next next to each other, the pair are unaware that their farms are really part of a larger, human owned tract. When said human goes about harvesting his crops and vegetables go missing, Rabbit and Squirrel begin to accuse each other of the crime. Do they bother to ask? Nope – they got their minds made up. Eventually the real farmer (or is it more of a gardener?) shows up to scare the daylights out of our heroes, forcing them into the woods. The ending fits right in with what seems to be a steam-gathering kids book trend of bucking the conventional. Instead of having the pair slowly gain a respect and friendship with each other, they continue to argue right up until the last page. On the final page of the book, the narrator gives some hopeful words for the future about how the two should come to their senses and begin a new garden together. A well done conclusion.
The digital illustrations are notable for their likeness to the hand-drawn variety. Only after close inspection can you catch glimpses of some computer manipulation. A well imagined book that’s fun to read – I’d say that puts it squarely into quality picture book territory.
Also reviewed by A Fuse #8 Production, A Year of Reading, Shelf Elf, The Well-Read Child, Three Silly Chicks, Seven Impossible Things, Charlotte’s Library,
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
Filed under: *Best New Books*, Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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