Magic Rabbit
Magic Rabbit
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Annotation: When Bunny becomes separated from Ray, a magician who is his business partner and friend, he follows a crowd to a park where he has a lovely afternoon, and after the people leave and darkness falls, the lonely and frightened Bunny finds a glittering trail of hope.
Catalog Number: #5699103
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-6685-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-6685-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2007022789
Dimensions: 23 x 27 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
A street magician and his beloved furry assistant nearly lose one another in Cate's aw-shucks debut. Ray and Bunny do everything together, from sharing meals in Ray's wonderfully cluttered bachelor apartment to giving Saturday magic shows outdoors. One day, though, momentarily dazed after a midperformance collision with a unicyclist, Ray doesn't see little Bunny bounding away, pursued by a yapping pug. A long, anxious mutual search ensues; in deftly sketched, sepia-washed urban scenes, the two disconsolate friends wander down streets and through a park peatedly just missing each other til, as darkness falls, Bunny spots a trail of Ray's trademark pale yellow stars and follows it into a subway station for a happy reunion. Seamlessly unfolding in a mix of captioned and wordless panels, the episode will kindle a strong sympathetic response in any child who has ever lost track, even for a moment, of a parent, friend, or valued toy. Mo Willem's Knuffle Bunny (2004) makes a grand companion.
Horn Book
When Ray's magic trick goes awry, Bunny, his assistant, gets lost in the city. The story doesn't offer much in the way of conflict; feeling low, Bunny spots some familiar items that lead him straight back to his friend. Pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations in black and white with small but important hints of yellow are packed with details of city life.
Kirkus Reviews
Ray the magician and his loyal rabbit assistant are inseparable. They watch TV together in the same armchair, paw and hand in the popcorn; sleep in the same bed (Bunny in Ray's top hat); and, in Ray's delightfully mumbo-jumbled workshop, Bunny even chews perfect little stars out of yellow paper that will fit inside the magician's hollow wand. One Saturday, during a street performance, a juggling unicyclist crashes into Ray, and the juggler's pesky pug chases Bunny down the street. Day turns to night, and Bunny is lost. (Observant readers will notice that Ray, spilling yellow stars everywhere, is never far away.) Fortunately, Bunny stumbles upon a discarded bag of popcorn in a dark alley . . . and a scattering of yellow stars! The rabbit follows the starry trail back to the subway, into his magic hat, onto the head (oops!) and into the arms of his dear companion. In the thoroughly charming, richly detailed, painstakingly cross-hatched ink-and-watercolor illustrations, all is black and white save for the telltale yellow stars. Hand-lettered text and artful compositions, often in cartoon-like panels, further contribute to the whimsical appeal of this winning debut. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2-Embellished only with the gold of "glittering stars," Cate's black-and-white drawings perfectly evoke an urban setting in this tale of lost and found. Street-performing magician Ray and his loyal assistant, a white rabbit, enjoy apartment life and working together. A mid-performance mishap with a juggler leads to a pug chasing Bunny into unknown parts of the city. Love of popcorn and a trail of familiar golden stars lead him to a touching reunion with his partner at the subway station. Cate's succinct text has a storyteller's style, and her elegant drawings have a New Yorker cartoon feel. The sole glitch hinges on the convenient appearance of stars in a distant alley. Readers may be expected to believe magic put them there, but neither text nor illustrations give clues for practical young readers. Nevertheless, this gracefully lean tale will please more than city dwellers.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Cate makes an impressive debut with this (mostly) black-and-white picture book. The Amazing Ray is a magician, and Bunny, his assistant, patiently allows himself be pulled out of Ray's satin top hat several times a day in a “spray of glittering stars.” (A domestic tableau early in the book shows Bunny nibbling gold paper into the proper shape.) When an accident separates Ray and Bunny one afternoon, Bunny spends a forlorn couple of hours hopping around the city before he finds a trail of gold stars and is joyously reunited with Ray. They miss the last train home—but, writes Cate, “two old friends never mind walking home together,” and Ray, in his black magician's cape, holds Bunny close. Cate performs a little magic trick of her own, holding the audience's attention while using no color but the occasional bit of yellow. An animator, she creates spreads, spots and storyboard-style panels that contain a wealth of detail and feeling (Ray's attic apartment, with its souvenir posters and crowded refrigerator door, is especially endearing). Another good feat is the conjuring up of Ray and Bunny, two instantly likable characters. Readers will demand an encore. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Word Count: 400
Reading Level: 2.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 116578 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD570L
Guided Reading Level: K
Fountas & Pinnell: K

“Cate performs a little magic trick of her own . . . conjuring up two instantly likable characters. . . . Readers will demand an encore.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Ray the magician and his bunny assistant are best friends. They work together all day, performing their act in front of admiring crowds and return each night to the tiny apartment they share. But one day the friends become separated downtown, and suddenly Bunny is lost and alone. How will he ever find Ray in the hustle and bustle of the city? With its wonderfully detailed black-and-white illustrations strategically sprinkled with yellow (look carefully!), this tender story from a talented author/illustrator will have you believing in the magic of friendship.


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