Abbot's Rabbit
by Pat Hagan

"Although they were quite different, Bird and Chipper were good friends..."

Both fun to read and listen to, Hagan's book teems with rhythm and meter. Anyone can write on any number of children's messages or subjects, but only the unique few like Hagan, who hear when they write, can produce prose that reads like poetry for children.

The messages are packed in, however subtly, as Abbot befriends a bird and a chipmunk. They feel that Abbot needs a more domesticated friend and find him a rabbit to love, too. There is enough love for all. We are all different with our unique strengths. Pleasures spawn from everyday events. Smiles are contagious. Sharing is caring. All of these messages are packed slyly into a short read.

The artwork by Jordan Hancock adds to the book’s richness. Physically reminiscent of the characters from Toy Story, Abbot and his friends are friendly looking. The birds and the rabbits especially are likely to make toddlers want to jump into the picnic and party pages. Finally, the characters are outdoors and moving. A noticeable absence of electronic devices, televisions, and even couches in the illustrations makes this book even more laudable. Parks, lakes, and fields set the scenes.

The author may be showing that kids don't need a plethora of human friends for happiness, or she may be using the animals as allegorical characters. Both messages are good and probably come across loud and clear depending on whether each listening child is outgoing or introverted. Children need more influences from nature, but in the city, not everyone has time to seek refuge in a forest. For those children, they can imagine themselves in nature and also imagine its serenity and value through reading. For country children, they will simply relate to and love this book.

Return to USR Home