THE MAGIC RABBIT by Richard Jesse Watson


Age Range: 6 - 8
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Watson steps away from the accomplished realism of Tom Thumb (1993) and Joanne Ryder’s The Waterfall’s Gift (2001) for a more broadly brushed expressionism in this exuberant, if scantly plotted, solo debut. A rabbit bounds out of a top hat lying on the ground, turns back to pull out a string of tied scarves and other tricks, then wishes for a friend. Presto! A second hat appears, from which a second rabbit bounds. As a writer, Watson makes a talented visual artist; his terse text flattens, rather than heightens, the feeling (“Oh, the fun they had and the magic they shared.” Clunk) and proves superfluous anyway, as the pictures tell the tale perfectly well. Readers may agree intellectually with the concluding thought, that “the best magic of all was having a friend,” but from the front cover’s shower of glitter to the rear view of Rabbit, white fur mystically lit, contemplating the stars, the art conveys more a sense of private wonder than of shared bonhomie. A strong showcase for Watson’s technical versatility, though. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-590-47964-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2004


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