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Rabbit Hill

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  5,042 ratings  ·  238 reviews
It has been a while since Folks lived in the Big House, and an even longer time has passed since there has been a garden at the House. All the animals of the Hill are very excited about the new Folks moving in, and they wonder how things are going to change. It’s only a matter of time before the animals of the Hill find out just who is moving in, and they may be a little b ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published 1944)
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The Most Deserving Newbery
58th out of 94 books — 2,392 voters
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Favorite books from my childhood
404th out of 3,246 books — 6,330 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katya Reimann
This book did not win literary acclaim in its own time because it is a gentle-spirited, lovely, book about animals and their families. It won because it hints at the deeper perspective of the landscape in which these animals live.

The human presence on the landscape--fore-fronted in the story by a home sale, and a new human family renovating and moving into a home that has long been left empty in the center of a community of small, wild animals--is considered through the deeper span of history,
Oct 01, 2011 Kerrie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bunny lovers
My bunnies approved.

Life on the Hill is changing with the arrival of New Folks. Will they be Good Folks, with a big luscious garden that the Little Animals can feast on? Or will it be Bad Folks, like the last ones, with traps, guns, and poisons?

Every animal in this book was their own character with their own voice. Father spoke like an Old Southern Colonel from Bluegrass Country (although this takes place in Connecticut - he must have married a Northern girl). Uncle Analdas was that cranky, para
This is a really sweet book about kindness to animals (except dogs apparently - there's a scene where a woman throws a rock at a dog to keep it from getting a woodchuck. You shouldn't hurt dogs, even for the sake of other creatures!). The characters, both animal and human, are delightful and each animal has a unique dialect, similar to Redwall, which is a feature I always find amusing. The ending is definitely a surprise and a really good one (actually there's two surprises towards the end, and ...more
I read this multiple times as a child, and I'm just not sure why. I was taken fairly often to a very good library, so it's not as though I was starved for choice. I guess I was just very much a devoted rereader in those days. Revisiting it for the first time in roughly 33 years, by reading it aloud to my son, I found that there was hardly anything other than the lingering comforting sense of familiarity that I liked about it. There is not much plot. Some animals are hungry. Then new folks move i ...more
The 3-star rating is NOT because it's a groundbreaking award-winning story. It's because I appreciate the cleverness of the Newbery committee for choosing this seemingly goofy book that has so much deeper meaning (especially in the time period that this won.) It's actually a pretty fun read, thanks to the lively humor and plotting. Sure, it's old-fashioned and corny, but that's the point. If you're ever feeling depressed by Newbery books, this will set you up for some good hearty entertainment, ...more
Mary Lou
I hate to pan a Newberry Award winner, especially one that has kindness to animals as its main theme. Lawson's story, though, took anthropomorphism to extremes without any of the charm found in other animal stories (e.g. Charlotte's Web or the Beatrix Potter books). I didn't find the characters' personality quirks, such as the mother's endless worrying and the father's ceaseless boasting about his life in Kentucky, endearing, but annoying. Also, the misspellings within the quotes were, I'm sure, ...more
Some authors are so easy and fun to read aloud and Lawson is one of them. We both enjoyed the tight and somewhat gossipy animal community of Rabbit Hill, who are all agog that someone new is moving into the farm house around with they live. Will these people tolerate the animals in their vegetable garden or will they be vegetable misers? Read this funny and sweet story to find out.

Update: The review above was from 2008, when Logan was 4. We just read it again in 2013 and he's 8 1/2. He didn't r
Another childhood favorite that holds up well. Robert Lawson both wrote and illustrated the book, something you rarely see anymore. I loved this as a child, and just re-read for the first time in a few decades. What stands out now for me is the beauty of the illustrations, very finely drawn portraits of more and less anthropomorphized animals and the weird conflict between almost communist ideals ("There is enough for all") and the racist, almost feudal ideal of the Good Folks and their servants ...more
Benji Martin
It was 1945. The U.S. was right in the middle of a pretty dark war, and there were some terrible things going on around the world. There were concentration camps in Europe, interment camps in the U.S. and everyone knew and loved someone who could possibly not come back from the war alive. The world of kid's literature needed a book that was simple, light and pleasant and that's exactly what they got with Rabbit Hill.

I thought the book was charming. The dialogue is funny, the characters are cute
I was in 5th grade. Twee and silly, even if you are a kid. Like so many animal stories, I think this one is ruined if you actually have any experience with the animals in question. In real life, rabbits are annoying pests that taste good fried or stuffed with orange sausage dressing. If you don't cull the population, they'll breed and eat themselves to starvation. Their ecological role is to be eaten. It's essentially their purpose in life to provide a big strong link in the food chain. Somethin ...more
We loved this! It sparked all kinds of conversations as we approach planting season.
Alicia Farmer
This story was a slow starter for me as an adult; I wonder if my kids would have any patience for it. That would be too bad because the ending is really very sweet.

The illustrations are a delightful compliment, as is the map on the inside cover. That the author was also the illustrator is a nice touch. I noticed (with more interest than I had in the book itself) that Robert Lawson was also the illustrator of a favorite story of mine, Ferdinand. Last week I discovered that Lawson is also the auth
I found this a little tedious until about the middle, then it finally got better.
It was cute and sweet, but it went right over my boys' heads, which made me not enjoy it as much. For my complete review:
Mrs. Minella, my third-grade teacher, first read this book to me as part of our class, and it has stayed with me since.
I'm glad to see that Robert Lawson's work was awarded a Newbery Medal, as he contributed quite a few very good books to literature for young readers. In fact, the Newbery Medal awarded to this book completed his trifecta of sorts, winning the Caldecott Medal for "They Were Strong and Good", illustrating a Newbery Medal winner (Elizabeth Janet Gray's "Adam of the Road"), and no
This was cute, and for the life of me, it made me want to grow more stuff in my garden! LOL

I didn't love it, and was surprised how long it took me to read it (but I had houseguests all week, so maybe that was it), but I did like it, and I think it would be a favorite with kids. "The lady" and "the man" were really well done, and all the excitement about New Folks among the animals on the hill was pretty fun.

The best lines, though, weren't delivered by animals - they were from people.

Louie Kersta
David Bonesteel
Many adults are bound to find this book cloyingly cute, but it really wasn't written for them. I loved this book when I was a child. It tells the story of a young rabbit named Little Georgie, his family, and the community of small animals who live around a run-down farm. When new folks take residence there, the animals are well aware that their lives are about to change in a fundamental way. Are they about to enter a new era of plenty, or will hard times continue?

Reading the book as an adult, th
It's summer, and that means I am reading a classic of some type or other to the girls. In summers past it's been Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost (both by Indiana author Gene Stratton Porter), or Tom Sawyer.

This year, I started with "Rabbit Hill" and its sequel, The Tough Winter, both by Robert Lawson. Rabbit Hill won the Newbery medal for best children's book of the year in 1945, and I remember Mrs. Baughman, my gr. 3/4 teacher, reading it to our class. I read it as a child as well.

The book is
Wayne S.
A lot of animals live on Rabbit Hill in rural Connecticut outside of Danbury. They include Father and Mother Rabbit, their son little Georgie, Porkey the Woodchuck, the Gray Fox, the Gray Squirrel, Willie Fieldmouse, Mole, Phewie the Skunk, the Red Buck, and many others. Over three years ago, good Folks lived in the house, the lawns were thick, the fields were covered with clover, and the gardens were full of vegetables. Then evil days fell on the Hill when the good Folks moved away and their su ...more
“This here hill is full of animals,” says Tim to Louie, two of the human characters in Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. This statement is true of the hill, which boasts rabbits, squirrels, mice, woodchucks, skunks, moles, and deer. The statement is also true of the book, which is about a rabbit family and their critter friends. If you like animals, especially those found in the country, you will treasure this tale.

The book begins, as all good stories should, with the excitement of change: “On every
Marissa Masterson
Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson is a modern fantasy book. It is about a all different animals worrying about their food supply. Since it has been a long time since the folks moved out of the house they have been scarce on food. When the news of new folks moving in, they are very happy but hesitant to see what will happen. After seeing the new folks and how they care for the animals, all the animals live a happy life filled with food. Lawson stuck to the literary standards for a modern fantasy book. ...more
This was my first time reading Rabbit Hill. I found it to be a surprising read. I liked the use of regional dialects for each animal character. I expected the plot to be a little more thrilling, but like many Newbery's it was more of a quiet story with a few action packed moments (Georgie's jump and the anticipation of what the new folks were building).

I was a little concerned about the new folks eating domesticated animals. As a former vegetarian, it is interesting how people view wild animals,
Loved it.

I decided to revisit some of the Newbery Award winners and started with Rabbit Hill.

The story centers around the little animals of Rabbit Hill. New folks have bought the big house, and the little animals hope for the best but fear for the worst. The author uses anthropomorphism wisely and well. The little animals become individuals: you care what happens to them.

I read it in a couple hours. The pages - replete with black/white illustrations - fly by. The illustrations add to the charm

This is a refreshing return to the innocent 1940's of children's literature, when Animals talk and behave just like people. The Hill (somewhere in CT) is abuzz with excitement and anticipation when rumors race through field and burrow that--finally--new Folks are coming! There will be owners in residence at the old, neglected farmhouse. Times have indeed been hard for the little animals, who are reduced to a meagre existence and near starvation during bitter winter
“Rabbit Hill” is a simple book. The main characters are the animals who live on Rabbit Hill.

It follows a simple plot line, ascending to a definite crisis, then resolution.

Its humor is simple. Robert Lawson’s writing is sprinkled with normal daily chatter that can be charmingly funny. For example, Little Georgie (Rabbit), a main character, works hard on creating a song about change. I laughed out loud when I finally heard his song on the audio CD as I was driving. I laughed again at the adults'
Nov 06, 2010 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: read aloud age 6+
This Newbery winner reminded me of Miss Hickory in the way the animals in the story are humanized. I thought it was well done. I think it's that I enjoy stories of animal/human interaction told from the point of view of the animal (Mrs. Frisby, Despereaux...) more than ones about human/animal companionship like Sounder or It's Like This, Cat. I thought the characters were loveable and memorable, in particular Little Georgie in his sweet, innocent way, and Father the way he cares for the other an ...more
Laura Verret
I simply loved Robert Lawson’s book Mr. Revere and I, and I really enjoyed his book The Great Wheel. So you can imagine how excited I was to find another of his books – and a Newbery at that!

The Story.

“New folks are coming! New folks are coming!” is the cry that spreads over the community of Rabbit Hill like a wildfire. All of the animals are excited – Phewie the skunk can’t wait to raid their garbage can, while Red Buck and Willie Fieldmouse are more excited at the prospect of a thriving garden
A cute, feel good book. I loved the topic of reading books and what silly things they thought could happen to people who read books. (I guess we could turn into knight errants?)

Had a great moral. We discussed the importance of never assuming anything and giving people the benefit of the doubt. The story ties up nicely with a good "anyone and everyone can get along if they try" theme.

Very cute book. We decided it was Mother West Wind's Children + Winnie the Pooh + Beatrix Potter + Miss Hickory.
I've meant to read this for years and it wasn't what I expected, but I don't quite know what I expected. Rabbit Hill is a place in connecticut where many small animals live, but find their livelyhood rather difficult due to having sloppy humans for neighbors; they had bad kitchen scraps, and a terrible vegetable patch. Things are about to change though with new "folks" moving in, and the animals find all the indications point to these new people to be very promising.
I found this to read like Mi
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Children's Books: The Medal Winner from 1945 - April 2016 - Rabbit Hill 1 4 May 23, 2015 09:10AM  
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Born in New York City, Lawson spent his early life in Montclair, New Jersey. Following high school, he studied art for three years under illustrator Howard Giles (an advocate of dynamic symmetry as conceived by Jay Hambidge) at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (now Parsons School of Design), marrying fellow artist and illustrator Marie Abrams in 1922. His career as an illustrator began ...more
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“Going to fetch Uncle Analdas. Have you been by the Hill?"
Just left there," Robin answered. "Everybody's excited. Seems there's new Folks coming."
Yes, I know," cried Little Georgie eagerly. "I've just made a song about it. Wouldn't you like to hear it? It goes like -"
No, thanks," called Robin.”
“I've made up a song about the new Folks," he (Little Georgie)added eagerly. "Would you like to hear it?"
Don't think I would," answered Uncle Analdas.”
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