Little Sister Rabbit has some freedom, but she’s not ready for total independence.
She sets out purposefully and without her older brother, walking through the countryside, messing around in puddles, making boats to float on the river, and skipping stones on the lake. By the time she starts doing cartwheels, she’s been gone several hours and gets “so dizzy that she didn’t know where she was.” She tries to find her home but finds other animals’ instead. She sees a group of older rabbits, one in a wheelchair, studiously playing chess. In another burrow, she meets Mr. Badger, “an old and very grand gentleman.” Her third visit is to a foxes’ den, but at least these dangerous animals are sleeping peacefully (although they are “growling in their dreams”). This last encounter is very scary. But when she really needs him, who should be calling “Little Sister Rabbit!” but Big Brother. “He reached for her paw, and told her, in a gentle and comforting kind of way, that she must be more careful.” This language is indicative of the calmly sweet character of the text. The delicately evocative illustrations, in a quiet green, brown, and gold palette, feature amusing little touches, such as the frogs who watch the young rabbit as she skims her stone. This import from Sweden via Scotland, originally published in 1987, is joined by a companion of similar vintage, Little Sister Rabbit and the Fox.
Whether read during the day or at bedtime, this consoling story of adventure, getting lost, and sibling rescue will create good feelings. (Picture book. 4-6)