Monday, January 25, 2016

Jennifer's Rabbit

"Jennifer's rabbit, brown and white,
Left the house and ran away one night,
Along with a turtle and a kangaroo,
And seventeen monkeys from the city zoo...
And Jennifer, too."

Jennifer's Rabbit is yet another family favorite and another that I was gifted from my sister. Written by Tom Paxton as a lullaby for his daughter, it was published in picture book format in 1988 by William Morrow & Co.

Jennifer dreams that she and a crew of animal companions have a nighttime adventure, visiting the "cookie crumb sands" and sailing with pirates on the "starlight sea." When the hour grows late, they decide to count all of the stars in the sky on their way back home.

This is a dreamy, whimsical story of a child's dream, and my kids -- even one-year-old Vivian -- have sat engaged by the beautiful words and illustrations. Paxton's use of rhyme and tempo is impressively done as the story reaches an exciting arc and then descends calmly and dreamily to urge the listening ear to bed.

My favorite edition of this book is the one pictured above, with illustrations by Donna Ayers. Ayers' full-page watercolor illustrations are the perfect companion for telling this enchanting story.



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