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THE MAGIC HARE by Lynne Reid Banks


by Lynne Reid Banks & illustrated by Barry Moser

Age Range: 6 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-10895-4
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 Ten fanciful tales about a hare with magical powers who rescues maidens from vampires, dragons, or their own fears; christens a tiny flower that had been overlooked (the harebell, of course); makes an end of one horrible giant and reforms another; cures assorted royalty of their hiccups, greed, and bad temper; and meets his match in a black witch who works white magic to turn Hare into a human for one brief, uncomfortable moment. Wonderful readalouds (though a few end rather abruptly, and some British expressions may need explaining), with humor, suspense, and some implied messages about environmental responsibility and valuing one's own talents. Moser (Jump! The Tales of Brer Rabbit) may be the best illustrator of rabbits since Beatrix Potter; this one has startling green eyes and a bit of a grin. The ten full-page portraits here pose colorful characters against dark backgrounds; the villainous ones are most satisfactorily revolting. A refreshing alternative to standard fairy tales. (Fiction. 6+)