Cover image for Tom's rabbit : a surprise on the way to Antarctica
Tom's rabbit : a surprise on the way to Antarctica
Hooper, Meredith.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
[Washington, D.C.] : National Geographic Society [1998]

Physical Description:
29 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 22 x 28 cm
General Note:
"First published in Great Britain in 1998 by Frances Lincoln Limited ..."--Front lining paper.
Reading Level:
AD 450 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 30978 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G850 1910 .H66 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
G850 1910 .H66 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
G850 1910 .H66 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
G850 1910 .H66 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This beautifully illustrated Christmas story is based on real events from an expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Robert Scott in 1910.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. In a book based on a true event, Hooper presents the story of some explorers traveling with Robert Scott's expedition toward Antarctica in December 1910. As the men prepare for the holidays away from family and loved ones, Tom the Sailor searches all over the ship to find a safe home for his pet rabbit. Finally, he locates a cozy spot in an area where hay is stored, and Little Rabbit gives birth to a litter of 17 on Christmas Day. Kitchen's vivid artwork fairly teems with details of Scott's ship, the Terra Nova, allowing readers to explore every nook and cranny, from the sailors' sleeping quarters to the galley to the ship's hold. Several other spreads detail the vastness of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, with its mountainous icebergs and numerous seals, penguins, and whales. A good introduction for young listeners, especially because Hooper wisely omits the fact that Scott and four others perished on this expedition. --Kay Weisman

Publisher's Weekly Review

A sailor's search for a nest for his pet rabbit spurs a fascinating tour aboard a ship headed toward Antarctica in 1910. As crewman Tom surveys the crowded vessel, he discovers a cat tucked in a miniature hammock, a parrot swinging on a perch, dogs howling on deck and horses snug in wooden stalls, beneath which he finds a cozy home for his rabbit amid the hay. All the while, preparations progress in the galley and dining area for a "special dinner," and soon the author reveals that it's Christmas Eve (which culminates in the rabbit's delivery of 17 babies). Hooper based her research on diaries kept during the 1910 voyage of the British Terra Nova, whose mission was to be the first to reach the South Pole (a Norwegian expedition beat them to it). Kitchen (Animal ABC) handily contrasts the tidy and cramped quarters below deck to the open expanse and incandescent light of the water and sky, as Tom views an icy sea filled with whales and penguins perched atop icebergs. The particularly memorable closing spread of Christmas morning shows a glacial sunrise of glimmering gold, white, purple and many shades of orange, evoking a sense of being on top of the world and at the edge of a last frontier. By the book's end, readers may well feel that they, too, have completed a voyage of discovery. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4‘Endnotes explain that this story is based on an excerpt from Captain Robert Scott's diary during his 1910 attempt to reach the South Pole. In it, he noted that at Christmas, crewman Tom Crean's pet rabbit bore 17 babies. The clearly written text describes Tom's efforts to find a perfect place for Little Rabbit to nest as the crew makes preparations for a "special dinner." Once the spot was found (in the horses' hay storage), the men celebrated Christmas Eve and when Tom returned to check on the rabbit, she had given birth. He then planned to distribute the bunnies as pets among his friends on the ship. Kitchen's wonderfully detailed full-page spreads, most facing a boxed page of text, impart the grandeur of the seascapes as seen from onboard the Terra Nova. This quiet, secular story, with only a tangential Christmas theme, will surely find fans among pet lovers and nature aficionados and a place in nonsectarian holiday storytimes.‘LF (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.