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Rabbit Hill

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  7,077 ratings  ·  393 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 ...more
Paperback, 127 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published 1944)
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Wendi (Alex) Werner It's probably too late now but I would look at it in context of the time it was written (post WWII).…moreIt's probably too late now but I would look at it in context of the time it was written (post WWII). (less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  7,077 ratings  ·  393 reviews

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Katya Reimann
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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,
Aj Sterkel
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Do you want to see more of my reviews? Check out Read All The Things!

My quest to read all the Newbery winners continues with Rabbit Hill, the winner from 1945. The story primarily focuses on a family of rabbits, who are very excited that a family is moving into the abandoned house near their hill. All the small animals on the hill are starving because they rely on the garden at the house for food. The animals don’t know if the new Folks will be nice people who like animals or mean people who
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novels was actually terrific.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-medal
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
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 ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
It's not often that I read a book with almost all animal characters anymore, but with characters like Phewey the Skunk, Willie Fieldmouse, Georgie, Porkey the Woodchuck, Mole, Foxy, and a few others, it's pretty irresistible.

Nothing earthshaking for an adult, but I'm sure very fun for the younger crowd. As the story begins, Georgie is running around yelling in excitement that the new comers on coming. The people who had lived on the property were gone and the animals were worried about who'd
Luisa Knight
I thought it was an enjoyable book - it's sure to be a favorite with your animal loving kiddo! And Robert Lawson is an author I really like!

Ages: 5 - 12


Children's Bad Words
Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 20 Incidents: how in tarnation, dingblasted, shucks, stupid, how in thunder, gumdinged
Name Calling - 6 Incidents: stupid brutes, old fool, stubborn old codger, stupid, the sneakin’ deceitful hypocritical scoundrel, blasted brats
Religious Profanities - 2 Incidents: oh my -
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is incredibly dull. It is told from the perspective of rabbits and all the other animals as the new folks move into the old farmhouse and start growing things again. The animals have all been worried about finding food as there haven't been human gardens around to raid for several years.

In general, I don't like books that anthropomorphize animals. I also don't like when the natural world is romanticized to the effect that all creatures great and small can live in harmony.

Mary Lou
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
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
Friend of Pixie (F.O.P.)
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
Struggled hard to stay engaged with this. Don't know that I'd recommend it to a student in a world where Katherine Applegate exists.
First sentence: All the Hill was boiling with excitement. On every side there rose a continual chattering and squeaking, whispering and whistling, as the Animals discussed the great news. Through it all could be heard again and again the words, "New Folks coming."

Premise/plot: Rabbit Hill is an animal fantasy novel that won the Newbery Medal in 1945. Little Georgie, one of the characters, is bringing news with him: NEW folks are moving in. Will the NEW folks be good or bad for the Hill? Will the
Apr 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Juli Anna
Oct 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
What a weird book. I am all for a well written animal book (like the incomparable The Wind in the Willows and Watership Down), but this is total drivel. The only redeeming factor is the lovely lithographs by Robert Lawson. There is no accountable plot, the animals are crudely characterized, the book is chock full of embarrassing dialect, and the ending is so sentimental and puzzling that I nearly threw down the book in despair. What's up with the random St. Francis of Assisi parade?! Where on ...more
Carole Sparks
May 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: younger readers or as a read-aloud
Shelves: newbery
This is one of those Newbery Medal books that make me question the committee's good sense. Even taking into account the award date (1945), this short book is a little foolish and simplistic, in the same category as Ginger Pye, the 1952 winner.

If your child enjoys humanistic animals that all talk and live together in harmony (as in, the fox doesn't eat the rabbits), he or she might enjoy this book. In fact, it might be an enjoyable re-aloud for the 6- to 8-yo set. There's a bit of higher-level
Oct 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: youth-novels
I can't believe this won the Newberry prize. There must not have been many good books written that year. This is the only Newberry winner I've read to date that I haven't really enjoyed. My kids found it boring and confusing (the rambling language was often above their heads), and I was outraged at the message that it is good to feed wild animals! Especially the part about letting them eat the people's garage. We needed to discuss how this is completely inappropriate and destructive to wildlife ...more
I have to say, I didn't give this one much chance. I think it was because I could barely get through the first Redwall book. (I've never been big on anthropomorphism. For some reason I just don't care enough about talking animals to get into the story.) Listening to Rabbit Hill, I started having flashbacks of invented "animal culture", tedious feast descriptions, and the never-ending songs. I think I'm going to take a break from Newberry Winners for a while.
Gilbert Saller
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the story, loved the characters, loved the illustrations. One of my favorites, definitely, and like many of my favorite books, it's one I read when I was really very young. It's also one of those books I simply don't want to read again - it spoke to me specifically at the age I read it, and I have a vivid memory and innocent perspective of it that I don't want to change.
Melissa (ladybug)
A story about the little animals that live on the Hill. The House on the Hill hasn't had any people living on it and is falling apart. The animals find out that new people are coming and the book follows them as they wonder about the new owners and how they will treat the animals of the Hill. It was simple and sweet and just right for a new beginning readers' chapter book
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
On my quest to read all the Newbery award winners I have picked up Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. Published in 1944, in the waning days of World War II, Lawson's seemingly idyllic children's book is obviously a product of that time. Post-Great Depression and Post-War, life is not returning to what it was and American citizens were afraid for their future. With this in the back of my head, I picked up Rabbit Hill and was pleasantly shocked by how Lawson addressed these concerns head-on while still ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
I liked the writing style of this, it was really not bad considering the age of the book. Of course, gender stereotypes are rampant, but it manages not to be blatantly racist which is pretty good for older kid's lit. The mom bunny is incapable of much but worrying, weeping and cooking.

This book will really only appeal to kids who enjoy talking animals. It's not one of those talking animal books like Watership Down where many people can enjoy it. The book is very nicely paced though for a book
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another childhood book that I basically remembered more the title the actual story itself so it was a nice pleasant revisit for me. As a result it was nice to get a chance to find a lot more refreshing story than the one I had just finished.

The story explores a group of beleaguered wild animals who are more feral and live on human activities than on just general forage. As a result it shows just how much our activities can affect and influence the lives of animals even though these are
Apr 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
2.5 stars. I liked that this was set in the area I grew up, but it was really slow moving. The author's illustrations were one of the highlights. But I kept wondering at the incongruity of the world. All the wild animals had an amicable society, including predator and prey. They could all talk to each other, regardless of species. But for some reason, domestic animals were animals--cats and dogs didn't communicate with them and were enemies. Chickens were a food source for the fox. Of course, ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Lawson won a Newbery medal for this story of small-town life cloaked in fur and feathers. Coming out as it did on the heels of WWII, one can understand the author's desire to retreat into the gentle world of artist Edward Hicks, who painted and repainted versions of Isaiah's Peaceable Kingdom. As a child, I was disappointed by silliness of most of the characters, even the main ones. The drawings also weren't up to Lawson's best, crispest line work (think Ferdinand). Reading it as an adult, I ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
All of the small animals on the hill are excited at the prospect of “new folks coming,” but what will the new arrivals be like? Planters, or lazy, shiftless sorts? Will they have dogs? Guns? Traps? Anticipation mounts as move-in day draws near.

This is a pleasant, old-fashioned story. There’s not a whole lot to it, but kids who like gentle animal stories without all that “red in tooth and claw” stuff might still enjoy this. I probably would have, at the age of seven or eight. Recommended for
Super cute illustrated book (but not a picture book) about a family of rabbits and their animal neighbors as a new human family is moving in to the farmhouse nearby. It has its issues (it was written in 1944 and while it's not really offensive there are some characterizations that made me roll my eyes) but overall it's a cute story. I'm not exactly sure why or how the religion aspect showed up at the very end, but it did show a difference between these New Folk and the other people who have ...more
Traci Brown
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: battle-books
Read this to my kids. It's on their list for battle of the books, but it is a bit wordy and they struggled reading it themselves. But it worked really well as a read-aloud and the kids all really liked it!
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lydia-read, own
We LOVED this. Cannot wait to read the next one. It has SUCH heart, but it also has adventure. I very much appreciate the vocabulary that Lawson uses, and that he does not dumb down his stories for kids. Thank goodness for quality children's literature such as this!
I was not aware of this book prior to my using the author for my FB avatar. Someone commented on that post about loving this book from her childhood, so I decided to read it.
It's cute and easily lovable.
Many small animals live on Rabbit Hill. They become aware that a new owner will be moving to the house. How will this affect them? So many other owners prior to this tried to eradicate the animals from the person's property.
The new owners have many, animals as well as humans, scratching their
John Bohnert
The author of this charming tale is a gifted illustrator. I loved the numerous illustrations that added to my enjoyment of this book.
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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.”
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