Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rabbit and His Friends

Rabbit And His Friends
Richard Scarry ~ Golden Press, 1953


Stepping out of Christmas for a second and into the realm of Little Golden Books, and what might have been my favorite of the genre when I was wee. This story is the primary reason I knew was a platypus was growing up, and the absolute main reason I wound up a mountain in a rain storm to see one in the wild when my husband and I traveled to Australia. As we stood in the mist and the fog on a little wooded trail and watched the tiny creature bubble up to the top of a pond, I couldn't help but remember this book and its ice cream eating oviparous mammal. So the story goes, that a rabbit finds an egg, but can't for the life of him figure out what sort of creature hatched out of it.

When they arrived, the egg had hatched. There stood the strangest animal that ever was!

"He doesn't look like any animal I have ever seen before", said Rabbit. "He has a big beak and little webbed feet just like Duck."

"He has a tail and a fur coat just like Beaver," said Mrs. Hen. "And he is very shy, like Squirrel." "What are you, my dear?" asked Mrs. Hen.

But the roly-poly animal said, "I don't know." Then splash, kersplash! that roly-poly animal jumped into the river and swam right down to the bottom.


Needless to say, the rest of the book is spent trying to figure out just what in the blazes the thing is, and as is always the case in misadventures like these, it takes wise circus folk to figure it out. I can't recommend this book enough based on shear cuteness alone. Really, anything Richard Scarry breathed on is gold as far as I'm concerned, but Rabbit and His Friends in particular stands apart from the rest. Check out scans of the whole book at this amazing blog called Golden Gems that highlights Little Golden Books and more. Awesome!

Also by:
I Am a Bunny
Chipmunk's ABC
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The Great Big Air Book
The Bunny Book
Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever
Tommy Visits the Doctor

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for listing this one...I've been trying to remember what "that platypus book" was for ages! :-) Lise

Anonymous said...

Wow... just linked from dooce.com and what a throwback! I so remember that illustration of the platypus with everyone looking at him over the fence, that squirrel with his pocketknife on a chain...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this book, and it is currently on my children's book shelf awaiting their love.
This is a great site - thanks for the trip down book memory lane!

scribbler said...

thanks everyone... welcome!

Naomi said...

These illustrations never fail to make me totally happy...

katie@weheartbooks.com said...

Loved this book too - great choice! Love the fact that it inspired an experience down under too!

scribbler said...

you know, australian animal experiences and kids' books go hand and hand!

Annie said...

This is one of my all time fave books. :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...thank you so much for this post. I could not for the life of me remember the title and wanted to find the book again. Thanks!

david said...

My gal bought this for me the other day, and it is adorable. Some of the cutest illustrations ever! Think my favorite is the duck.

But really...it shouldn't be called "Rabbit & His Friends" -- how about "The Platypus Story" or "Forest Friends" or such?

Anonymous said...

l' infanzia è il più bel periodo della vita, e il più doloroso

Anonymous said...

"Rabbit and His Friends" is a gentle, sweet little book indelibly etched into my memory as a tale of how everyone has a place in this world, and everyone has value. The shy little platypus in his 1920s swimsuit with the lollipop in one webbed forefoot and the ice cream cone in the other is adorable.

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