Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BRUH RABBIT AND THE TAR BABY GIRL by Virginia Hamilton Kirkus Star


by Virginia Hamilton & illustrated by James E. Ransome

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-590-47376-X
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Hamilton posthumously revives this archetypal Brer Rabbit tale with a Gullah-inflected rendition, to which Ransome supplies Jerry Pinkney–influenced watercolor scenes of clothed, but naturalistically rendered animals. Finding evidence that lazy Bruh Rabbit’s been helping himself to his hard-won crops, Bruh Wolf sets up a rag scarecrow, which fools Bruh Rabbit not a bit, then a tarry, long-eared doe whose silence irritates Rabbit into attacking: “Missy Girl, keeping her mouth shut. Bruh Rabbit took a bite. GUNK! His nose stuck! He sure was one rabbit stuck on somebody!” Young readers may wonder how Bruh Wolf can be canny enough to construct the trap, yet foolish enough to think that chucking his cagey captive into a briar patch would be a punishment—but, that’s how the story goes, and the wolf seems only mildly peeved in the final scene. A note on the tale, and on Bruh Rabbit as a character, caps this handsome edition, seemingly destined to become the standard one in libraries. (Picture book/folk tale. 7-9)