Booklist Reviews

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. ((Reviewed February 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Horn Book Guide Reviews

This Cree Indian legend explains why it looks like there is a rabbit in the moon, and how the crane came to have long legs and a red crown. Wood's retelling is simple and captivating, and a brief author's note lists the source for the story. Though Rabbit's appearance is somewhat inconsistent, Baker's watercolors are otherwise appealing, ranging from soft and dreamy to bold and striking.Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews

"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.)

Publishers Weekly Reviews

"The watercolors are the real draw here," said PW of this "gently appealing pourquoi story." Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 4AThis 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.AAdele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN