We finished our lunchtime read-aloud of Robert Lawson’s Rabbit Hill last week. It was delightful! We are no stranger to animal stories around these parts, and Rabbit Hill now ranks up there as one of our favorites.
Rabbit Hill tells the story of a rabbit family, along with many other small woodland animals, that live in close proximity to a big house that has been abused and abandoned for some time. When the small animals start hearing the rumors about “new folks coming” there is both great excitement and worry. What will they be like? Will they revive the garden that the animals depended on for much of their winter storehouse of food? Would they fix up the old place and throw out plenty of good garbage to eat and rummage through? Would they (horror of horrors!) have dogs? All this caused much discussion among the animals of Rabbit Hill as they tried to ferret out information.
New folks do arrive and it appears that all is well. They don’t believe in putting out traps and / or poison to remove the animals from the property and seem to actually encourage the animals to stick around. This confuses the animals to no end. It confuses the hired help that is working around the property as well. They don’t understand why the new owners don’t want to get rid of all the little pests around the place. One of my favorite lines from the book:
Louie Kernstawk and Tim McGrath had both found occasion to putter around near the house so they too could observe and judge. “Look like nice Folks’ things,” said Louie.
“Yes,” answered Tim, “real nice. There’s an awful lot of books, though. Don’t hold much with that. People that reads books much seem to be queer-like. Grandpa always said, ‘Readin’ rots the mind.’ Don’t know but what he was right.”
Heehee. : )
If you have little people that love a good animal story, please pick up this oldie, but goodie. It won the Newberry Medal in 1945 and the story is still highly enjoyable today. With shorter chapters, we were easily able to read two at lunch with an occasional third chapter thrown in when the story got exciting. : )
For more great read-aloud suggestions for little people, visit my friend Amy at Hope is the Word.
Ben and Me, also by Robert Lawson