Rabbit and the Motorbike
Rabbit and the Motorbike
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Annotation: Although Rabbit is content to live his life in a wheat field, he enjoys old Dog's tales of travel; and when Dog dies and leaves Rabbit his motorbike, Rabbit starts to feel the powerful pull of the open road.
Catalog Number: #188926
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Jacoby, Sarah
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-452-17090-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-452-17090-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018041273
Dimensions: 24 x 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A fearful rabbit finds the courage to broaden his horizons in this picture book.Rabbit, anthropomorphically attired in overalls, lives in a wheat field that he never leaves. Instead, he waits for Dog—more sartorially adventurous in a black leather-fringed jacket, appropriate for motorbike travel—to visit and tell him stories of the road. But one day Dog dies, an event touchingly illustrated with an image of Rabbit sitting on his porch steps with drooping ears and drooping flowers. Rabbit is surprised that Dog leaves his motorbike to him, and he stores it away, admitting that he is too scared to use it. Author Hoefler takes a well-used theme and infuses it with a graceful poetic cadence that reads like a firelight tale as she relates how, yes, Rabbit does eventually work up the courage to travel on the motorbike, and yes, does come home again, enriched and changed. Illustrator Jacoby's smudgy, delicate illustrations depict these changes—both in Rabbit's appearance and demeanor and in the story's landscape—with an evocative, textural style that heightens the story's emotion. One illustration, a double-page spread of a beach from an overhead perspective, is initially disorienting, then exhilarating. The book adroitly combines spot illustrations and double-page spreads to establish and control the story's elegant, thoughtful pace.Graceful text and evocative illustrations combine in this story about the rewards of facing fears and trying something new. (Picture book. 3-7)
Publishers Weekly
Timid Rabbit sticks close to home, where his friend Dog regales him daily with tales of his motorbike adventures as a young dog, including -the places he-d felt most alive, where he-d howled at the moon.- In textural watercolor and mixed-media spreads, Jacoby (Forever or a Day) renders Dog as a dashing terrier in a black leather jacket; Rabbit, wearing blue overalls, exudes emotion. In a depiction of a vicarious, imagined ride, the two zoom across a spread, leaving a ribbon of color behind them. Then one day, Dog doesn-t appear, and grieving Rabbit finds himself the owner of a motorbike. Hoefler (Great Big Things) describes Rabbit-s trepidation and conflicted feelings with lilting prose: -He hoped the bike would like not going anywhere.- But at his own, inch-by-inch rate, he conquers his fear. When he does set out at last, Jacoby-s spreads of the towering trees and expansive beaches he discovers deliver excitement and triumph. Alongside its elements of risk and loud noise, the story-s treatment of death and anxiety makes it a quiet, inward-turned tale. Ages 5-8. Agent: Steve Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 -An appealing story about grief and acceptance. Rabbit looks forward to Dog's visits and stories about his road trips on his motorbike. Rabbit loves to live vicariously through Dog's stories. But sadly, the day comes when Dog stops visiting. He does, however, leave his motorbike to Rabbit. Eventually, Rabbit embraces life (and the motorbike) and even makes a new friend, Cat. Jacoby's illustrations help keep the mood from becoming too dark; Dog is a schnauzer with a beard, black leather jacket and boots, and a riding scarf. His adventures include trips through the majestic redwood forest, on a beach followed by a flock of seagulls, and around the Mojave Desert. The message is a good one. As Dog says, "The world is beautiful. If you're brave enough to see it. Even new places can feel like long-lost friends." VERDICT Recommended for public and school libraries as a tool for children who are experiencing grief. The tone is lighter than in many texts that deal with loss, and the book lends itself to discussion.-Robin Sofge, Prince William Public Library System, VA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A fearful rabbit finds the courage to broaden his horizons in this picture book.Rabbit, anthropomorphically attired in overalls, lives in a wheat field that he never leaves. Instead, he waits for Dog—more sartorially adventurous in a black leather-fringed jacket, appropriate for motorbike travel—to visit and tell him stories of the road. But one day Dog dies, an event touchingly illustrated with an image of Rabbit sitting on his porch steps with drooping ears and drooping flowers. Rabbit is surprised that Dog leaves his motorbike to him, and he stores it away, admitting that he is too scared to use it. Author Hoefler takes a well-used theme and infuses it with a graceful poetic cadence that reads like a firelight tale as she relates how, yes, Rabbit does eventually work up the courage to travel on the motorbike, and yes, does come home again, enriched and changed. Illustrator Jacoby's smudgy, delicate illustrations depict these changes—both in Rabbit's appearance and demeanor and in the story's landscape—with an evocative, textural style that heightens the story's emotion. One illustration, a double-page spread of a beach from an overhead perspective, is initially disorienting, then exhilarating. The book adroitly combines spot illustrations and double-page spreads to establish and control the story's elegant, thoughtful pace.Graceful text and evocative illustrations combine in this story about the rewards of facing fears and trying something new. (Picture book. 3-7)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Rabbit lives alone in a field of wheat off the highway, and he never leaves, ever, even though he dreams of it each night. Instead, he relies on the stories of Dog, who in his youth traveled the country on his motorbike, before growing old and sick. Then, one day, Dog's visits stop, and the motorbike is left to Rabbit. He continues his quiet life with the bike, and the seasons pass until summer comes, and finally, he takes the bike out ust down the road," and then off into the world fore coming back again with stories of his own to tell. Hoefler (Great Big Things, 2017) tells a somber story of longing, grief, and loss, without once mentioning death or depression. So much emotion is contained within the deceptively simple text the gentle language, cadence, and imagery d Jacoby (Forever or a Day, 2018) matches the tone with her softly evocative watercolor and pastels, alternating the dark, oppressive grays of loneliness, nighttime, and winter with the muted rainbows of sunlit landscapes, promising hope. Rich in metaphor without an ounce of heavy-handedness, this timeless fable should be left out for a little one to come to and contemplate on their own, when the need arises.
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Lexile: 620L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N

"Exhilarating . . . Graceful text and evocative illustrations combine in this story about the rewards of facing fears and trying something new."Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A timeless fable of the journey from grief to acceptance that will touch every reader: Rabbit isn't sure he'll ever be brave enough to go on an adventure. He's a homebody who lives in a quiet field of wheat he dreams of leaving every night. His world is enlarged by his friend Dog and Dog's tales of motorbike adventures. But one day, Dog is gone, and with him, go the stories Rabbit loves so much. Dare Rabbit pick up the motorbike and live his own story?

• A touching tale for those confronting loss and those who are eager to explore and experience the world around them
• Rabbit's bravery in the face of sadness will console, nurture, and inspire young readers
• Author Sarah Jacoby grew up wandering the woods outside of Philadelphia. She now draws for many people and places, including the New York Times, and she is the author and illustrator of Forever or a Day
• Illustrator Kate Hoefler received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she studied as a Colby Fellow. She is the author of Real Cowboys and Great Big Things

Fans of Hungry Jim and Most of the Better Natural Thing in the World will enjoy the touching and meaningful storyline in Rabbit and the Motorbike.

• Great read-aloud book for families/children experiencing loss or heartbreak
• Books for kids ages 3–5
• Children's books for kindergarten–third grade


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