A magic show turns upside down in McLaren's delightful backstage romp.
No magician's act is complete without a wand, top hat, and, of course, a white rabbit. This is certainly true for Monsieur Lapin's act, where white rabbit Houdini steals the show…literally. A natural choice for a magician's assistant, Houdini helps bring the other rabbits together and makes sure all is ready before the show: "Houdini took care of everyone and everything." Things change abruptly, however, when Houdini steps in after an onstage mishap and, with a potent flick of the wand, accidentally turns the white magician into a gray-and-white rabbit surrounded by a collapsed tuxedo. But the show must go on, and while at first Houdini flourishes in the limelight, with his wonderful and daring tricks, the excitement dwindles as Houdini sees how much the former magician misses the stage (and being human). With the help of the other rabbits, Houdini restores the magician to his human form, and they both come to realize that the spotlight is at its most magical when it is shared. McLaren hits all the right notes with this spare but exhilarating text, bringing it to rich visual life with dynamic and comically energetic illustrations. No page turn goes unrewarded, and readers of any age will rush to see the rabbits’ ironic background antics.
A study in leporine whimsy with lingering poignance. (Picture book. 3-7)