Cover image for Rabbit and the moon
Rabbit and the moon
Wood, Douglas, 1951-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Crane helps Rabbit fulfill his dream of riding across the sky to the moon.
Reading Level:
AD 530 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 19590.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.4 2 Quiz: 24474 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.C88 W65 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E99.C88 W65 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Rabbit has always dreamed of going to the moon, but try as he might, he can't jump high enough. Finally Crane offers to fly him there. Rabbit holds on tight to Crane's legs -- so tight that by the time they reach the moon Rabbit's paws are bloody and Crane's legs have stretched. When Rabbit pats Crane on the head in thanks, he stains Crane's feathers. To this day Crane still walks on long legs and wears a red headdress. And if you look carefully at the full moon, you can still see Rabbit there, riding across the night sky. This adaptation of a Native American folktale is told with a storyteller's flair and illustrated with watercolor paintings that are animated and true-to-nature at the same time.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. This retelling of a Cree Indian folktale introduces Rabbit, who wants nothing more than to view the splendor of the earth from the vantage point of the moon. He asks all the birds to take him to the moon, but only Crane is able to oblige. The flight leaves Rabbit thrilled with his new perspective and provides Crane with his long legs and red headdress. The watercolor illustrations have a fuzzy, sleepy quality, yet are clear enough that the animals depict a range of emotions, from Rabbit's dejection to Hawk's arrogance. Illustrations of some kind are on every page, with most of the pictures in panels adjacent to the text. The story itself is told in fairly short, easy-to-understand sentences, making this a good a choice for a bedtime story or for older students studying folktales. --Elizabeth Drennan

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Once long ago‘in the morning of the world‘there was a rabbit," begins this gently appealing pourquoi story from the Canadian Cree. Rabbit dreams of "riding upon the moon at night." He tries jumping up to reach it, then asking birds both large and small to help, but they refuse. Finally Crane, seeing Rabbit's dilemma, agrees to carry him to the moon. Rabbit holds onto Crane's legs so tightly that he bleeds, and once on the moon, when Rabbit pats his helper's head, he gives the bird the distinctive red spot it bears to this day. Wood's warm, understated style suits the target audience, but the storytelling is not nearly as compelling as in his Old Turtle. Baker's (A Song for Lena) watercolors are the real draw here. The artist breathes life into the characters, especially Rabbit, who looks as cuddly as a stuffed toy (in one spread, the bunny, as crane's cargo, dangles from the dramatic bird's legs, as he gazes at the earth far below, surrounded by stars). An author's note provides background to this highly visual journey. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4ÄThis pourquoi tale is an adaptation of a Cree legend. Rabbit had a strong desire to go to the moon. He could not jump far enough and none of the birds would agree to fly him there. Finally, Crane saw Rabbit's disappointment and decided to take him. In the flight, Rabbit held on to Brother Crane's legs, stretching them into the long legs that cranes have today. Rabbit's bloody paw touched the Crane's head, which gave him his characteristic red headdress. This satisfying story gradually builds suspense as Rabbit tries to achieve his dream. Crane's role adds a theme of brotherly support and helpfulness. Although the storytelling is good, its authenticity as a Cree legend is not documented. The only source cited by the author is Natalia M. Belting's The Long-Tailed Bear and Other Indian Legends (Bobbs-Merrill, 1961), a children's book also without documented sources. The watercolor paintings of the nighttime scenes evoke a quiet, dreamy, bedtime mood, which is in contrast to the active plot. Rabbit and the moon are illustrated with human emotions while the great and small birds are painted with attention to naturalistic detail. Most of the paintings are framed in half-page spreads with facing text. No attempt has been made to incorporate motifs from traditional Cree art. An uneven offering.ÄAdele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.