Pros: neat illustrations, good story about friendship
Cons: uncreative character names
Bright illustrations always catch people's attention, and this book is no exception. I am sad the book cover is not shown for this book, but it really shows the wonderful artwork that is found in this book. I've made a request and hopefully the cover will show up shortly!
The great artwork in this book won the Author/Illustrator, Eric Rohmann, the Caldecott Medal for 2003. And it is quite deserving.
The story is simple and is told more in the artwork than the text (and I will tell you all about the story plot now). It begins as Mouse, the narrator of the story, is saying that Rabbit is his friend and although well intentioned, Rabbit is always followed by trouble. And the illustrations show the scenario depicting what Mouse is talking about. Rabbit has Mouse sitting in a model airplane and as he throws it Mouse falls out and the plane ends up in some branches. But Rabbit has an idea. First he gets an elephant, then a rhino, and a hippo, and all sorts of other animals and he stacks them all on each other. But the plane is just out of reach. So Rabbit and Mouse climb on the very top of the animal tower and stretch to get their plane from the tree and just as mouse gets on the plane...everyone tumbles down. What a mess for Rabbit as all the animals are upset, but Mouse flies by in the plane and saves Rabbit from the angry animals because they are friends. And the very last page shows the plane stuck in very same tree branches except Mouse and Rabbit are in the plane this time and Rabbit has to think of a new plan.
It is quite a cute story. It shows how one can be creative to solve problems even though it might not be the best solution. But mostly it shows how friends still stand by each other even when their ideas don't work out.
The artwork that accompanies the text is wonderful. Rabbit is white and Mouse is brown with a white belly. The animals they gather for their tower of animals are all drawn with realistic colors and drawn proportionally. Emotions are shown well on the animals faces. One of my favorites is of Rabbit pushing the rhino. The rhino is frowning and pushing back with its front feet with a little bit of dirt coming up and Rabbit is pushing against the rhino's rear end, leaning with all his might to push the rhino.
The only thing I didn't like about the book was that the characters were just named Rabbit and Mouse. I'm sure this was intentional, but I like some of the creative names that can be found in stories. But it made it so you couldn't tell if Mouse was a boy or a girl. Rabbit was referred to as a he, but Mouse, as the narrator, never let us know whether he/she was a he or a she. Although it probably really doesn't matter one way or the other, I was just curious and a child reader might have been as well.
Overall I definitely recommend this book. It'd be great to read to children 2-4 and for a child to read on their own any time after that. I really enjoyed this one (and I'm in my 20's.) The illustrations are sharp and bright with great attention to detail and the story is very cute with an ending that makes you smile and realize this story or something like must happen all the time with Mouse and Rabbit. And reading this book about Mouse and Rabbit can easily happen all the time in any family, including yours!