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Barbara Purchase.

Toronto, Wiley, c1982.
143pp, cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 0-471-79854-1.

Grades 3 and up.
Reviewed by Ronald Jobe.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

A tantalizing rabbit stew is ruined by the condensed format of the book. At first glance, the book appears to be a reprint of a small classic text on hares. This is substantiated by the overly wide margins that scrunch the compact text tightly to the inner binding and by the faded effect of the captionless illustrations.

Despite these flaws, Barbara Purchase has concocted a rich ragout of hare quotes, poems, prose, accounts of social habits, superstitions, and rabbit symbolism in both myth and magic. Rabbit lovers of all ages will appreciate the balance and selectivity of the contents. Children will enjoy references by A.A. Milne, Joel Chaldler Harris, Aesop, La Fontaine, Beatrix Potter, and Dennis Lee. Mature readers will be content with such classical sources as Shakespeare, Dry den, Thoreau, Thurber, and D.H. Lawrence.

The visual interpretation of the rabbit is delightfully broad and intricate, but rather annoying due to the lack of source references. The black-and-white illustrations are certainly bold enough, but many of the colour plates have a disappointingly washed-out appearance.

The appendix of rabbit terms and sayings is an excellent collection. This book is for well-stocked libraries.

Ronald Jobe, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
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