One morning a mother mixes up some dough and cuts out a gingerbread rabbit to surprise her little daughter. But when the mother puts him in to bake, she gets the surprise of her life. The rabbit jumps to the floor, runs to the door, and disappears into the forest!Fleeing through the forest with the mother close behind, the innocent rabbit gets some surprises of his own. The worst surprise is a "friendly" red animal who says he's a rabbit, too, though he looks just like a fox. The best surprise is a big brown rabbit and a silvery gray one, who live in a cozy cave full of carrots and lettuce -- where they happen to have an extra little bed.Yes, all's well that ends well. The gingerbread rabbit finds himself a happy home, and the mother finds an even better way to surprise her daughter.
Mary's mother has a surprise for her--a delicious gingerbread rabbit. But the real surprises start when this cookie comes to life! The raisin-eyed rabbit, still uncooked on the counter, bemoans his fate to the paring knife, mixing bowl, and rolling pin, when they warn him that nothing has ever escaped from the kitchen without being eaten. When the rabbit spies Mary's mother, just back from the grocery store, a "giant" with "dozens of tremendous shining white teeth the size of a grizzly bear's," he realizes he hasn't a chance. Much to the mother's surprise, her flat, doughy creation makes a run for it! But she wants the gingerbread rabbit for her daughter so much, she races right after him. Garth Williams, illustrator of Charlotte's Web
and The Cricket in Times Square
captures the chase perfectly with his magical pen-and-ink sketches. Readers will follow breathlessly as the gingerbread rabbit narrowly escapes the guiles of a wily fox, and is finally rescued by an actual rabbit and his wife, who take him into their home to live happily ever after eating lettuce, carrots, and watercress.
This gentle story of a mother's fervent love for her only daughter, and the comical, suspenseful adventures of her rabbit cookie is carefully spun in Jarrell's flawless, slightly tongue-in-cheek prose. A jauntier inanimate rabbit-comes-to-life story than Margery Williams's The Velveteen Rabbit, and a more complex tale than The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Rabbit is a classic read-aloud that youngsters will clamor for again and again. (Ages 5 and older) --Karin Snelson