One little boy’s family holds the secret of the golden hare.
Others in the village like to hunt the hares with fierce hounds, but the boy loves them for their twilight dancing, their wildness, their long velvet ears, their amber eyes and their speed. The boy has grown up hearing the legend of the Golden Queen of the Hares—it is his family’s responsibility to keep the old queen safe when a new one is chosen. One morning, very early, the boy and his sister follow a multitude of hares a long distance; they rest among dozens of them, honored to hear the song of the vagabond hare as he woos the young queen. But there is a pair of sleek hounds on the trail of the old queen; the children carry her to the shore and hold the hunter and his hounds back with song as she swims to the Island of the Golden Hares. Sometimes, “if you are very lucky,” you can faintly hear the song, mingled with the waves. Morris unfurls her tale in mythic, heightened language; her dreamy watercolors, of a piece with her poetic text, are amply accommodated by the oversized trim.
A lovely celebration of legend and the wild. (Picture book. 5-9)