Josiah's Reviews > Little White Rabbit

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
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Jun 14, 12


Kevin Henkes's versatility never ceases to astound. Whether he's writing a chapter book such as The Birthday Room or Words of Stone, an early reader like Penny and Her Song or one of the picture books for which he is most famous, he always seems to be at home in any medium, producing works of art that capture the mind and give insight into the many different feelings that all of us have from time to time. Little White Rabbit is a simple, innocent story, but it speaks to all ages, and is illustrated as beautifully as any of Kevin Henkes's Caldecott books.

When the little white rabbit dashes through the countryside one day, he allows his mind to roam freely as well, really thinking about what he's seeing around him as he runs. How would it be if he were green like the grass instead of his normal snowy white color, or what if he weren't a rabbit at all, but a motionless stone sitting out in the meadow? What if he were a giant, taller than all of the trees, or what if he could fly? How much different would the experience of frolicking in the outdoors be if any of these scenarios that he imagines were to come true? When he spots a cat lurking, though, he decides that the time has come to hightail it home to his mother and siblings. The little rabbit sees that while it can be nice to explore the world on his own, thinking about why things are as they are and imagining what it might be like if they were different, perhaps even flirting with danger from time to time, there's nothing as nice as being able to return to where he knows that he is loved and taken care of, protected from danger. After taking in all the adventure that one can handle, there's nothing like going back to where one is unconditionally loved.

The illustrations present throughout this little book truly are extraordinary, but I think it's the full two-page rendering of the little white rabbit when he imagines himself to be green that amazed me most. Kevin Henkes is a genius with pastels, as he has proven many times before, and Little White Rabbit is an impressive storybook that I wouldn't be at all surprised to see become a classic. I would very likely give it the full two stars.
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