Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eric Rohmann: Day 5

This post is a day late. I was having difficulty with blogger last night. It wouldn't let me post at all. So today, you get the last two installments of Eric Rohmann.

My Friend Rabbit
Written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Roaring Brook Press, 2002

This book won the Caldecott Medal in 2003. I remember buying this book and thinking: WOW. The illustrations are so bold and so toddler-minded. The text is simple and has a wonderful cadence to it. Rabbit’s toy airplane is stuck in the tree. He tries to come up with an inventive way to get it out, so he gathers, pushes, and shoves his animal friends on top of one another until they form a tall tower. This of course comes crashing down!

I love his use of perspective in the illustrations. On one spread rabbit is in the far corner of the page pulling on an elephant’s tale. Everything looks so small and the spread is rather bare. Then the next page explodes with a giant elephant taking over the entire spread. When all of the animals are piled on top of one another, you must turn the book vertically to view it correctly. Then they all come crashing down and we see wild animal eyes of every sort as they looked surprised, shocked, and flabbergasted. Then we see those same animal eyes all glaring at rabbit. Every spread is full of surprises and delight. The illustrations are appealing to a very young audience. In fact, a non-reader could figure out what is going on in the story even without the text.

A romping fun read and so well-deserving of the Caldecott Award.

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