For Winner’s Wednesday, I chose the 2003 Caldecott Book Award Winner: My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann. This whimsical picture book portrays an adventuresome day in the life of two dear friends, a rabbit and a mouse. The two of them are playing with a toy airplane outside when it becomes stuck in a tree. Rabbit envisions and implements an elaborate plan for reaching that tall branch and enlists all the animals for help. Mouse is a loyal friend, and even though he is hesitant about Rabbit’s plan, he supports Rabbit nonetheless. This story encapsulates friendship, imagination, curiosity, and humor. I can imagine children bursting out laughing when they find out what happens to Rabbit’s creative plan. These illustrations drew me into the book – they are beautifully done, full of color and energy. Each page is bordered by a thick black edge, and not a single page has white space. The backgrounds are rich ombre blues and purples. Rohmann really excels in getting the readers engaged in the story; the children watch this silly Rabbit’s scheme build up, and they cannot wait to find out what happens. He sparks the reader’s imagination when he brings in all the diverse animals, each with its own personality. Children look on with amazement as the Rabbit reels in his friends the elephant, the rhino, the goose, the deer, the bear, the hippo, the alligator, the chipmunk, and the ducklings. I suggest this book for any K-3rd grader, because this book is sure to make them smile and giggle and want to befriend this extravagant, fanciful rabbit.
Reviewed by: Lauren McMillen