In his distinguished adult books and in his juvenile book published this year (Hawk in the Sky p. 906, J-308) Franklin Russell demonstrates a rare ability to suggest the relentlessness of the natural round, the fierce, mysterious beauty in the instinctual schedule driving both the predators and the preyed upon. He does this by centering on one of a species from its birth and by describing its experiences in a way that fills in all of the factual details of habitat, coloration, diet, mating and migration or hibernation patterns while building a sense of suspense about the total gamble for survival that is imposed on wild birds and animals. In this case, the frightened hare of the title is the Runner; superior speed and split second responses increased the Runner's chances to avoid the hawks and owls and the land animals who were his year around enemies. Mr. Russell captures the pell-mell panic and the possible exultation in the mad dashes of escape that make up the Runner's days and nights. The artist, Frederic Sweney, has done an even better job of visualizing the Runner and his world than he did in their last book.