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DON'T GO NEAR THAT RABBIT, FRANK! by Pam Conrad

DON'T GO NEAR THAT RABBIT, FRANK!

By Pam Conrad (Author) , Mark English (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 30th, 1998
ISBN: 0-06-021514-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

A homespun story from Conrad (This Mess, p. 400, etc.), billed as a retelling of a campfire favorite. The single problem that forms the plot is Old Man Hoover’s prize rabbit. When Philip and his sister Kooch move into the neighborhood that was once Old Man Hoover’s potato field with their new puppy, Frank, he makes his message loud and clear from the start, “If that dog comes anywhere near my prize rabbit, I’ll load my rifle and shoot him dead.” His words reverberate in the children’s minds as Frank becomes a full-grown dog. Then one rainy night, Frank appears with a muddy, rain-soaked rabbit in his teeth. Philip, despite Kooch’s hesitation, shampoos and blow-dries the rabbit, and surreptitiously slips it back into its hutch; in a predictable, yet satisfying ending, Old Man Hoover, certain he had already buried his dead rabbit, puzzles over how his prize pet could have returned to its hutch. The children laugh at hearing about the dilemma; nothing is made of the potential spookiness of a dead rabbit’s returning to its hutch, and Old Man Hoover, as far as readers know, is never enlightened. Interspersed among every short episode are full-color pictures, more dark and dreamlike than real, with the feeling of faded wallpaper, adding mood if not mystery. (Fiction. 5-8)