THE BIG UGLY MONSTER AND THE LITTLE STONE RABBIT by Chris Wormell

THE BIG UGLY MONSTER AND THE LITTLE STONE RABBIT

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like The Giving Tree but without the self-sacrifice, this simple tale of a stone bunny that serves as surrogate friend to a hideous, lonely monster offers both an affecting parable and a chewy metaphor. So ugly is the cave-dwelling creature that animals flee, plants die, and weather turns bad at his appearance. When he smiles, rocks shatter—except, to his delight, a small rabbit that he’s just carved, which is unaffected and so becomes a lifelong companion. After the monster’s death, he is forgotten, but the rabbit remains, as the devastation around the cave gradually becomes a natural beauty spot. Despite a warning, the trollish monster’s full-page, full-face onset may startle younger readers; in subsequent scenes, however, his lonesome, benign inner nature comes through clearly enough that he ultimately becomes more pathetic than frightening. So is this a rebuke to those who judge by appearances? An observation on the immediate and enduring pleasures of art? A sympathetic character portrait? Wormell suggests no explicit moral or intention, so the episode is bound to have different meanings (or none) to different readers. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-82891-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2004




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