Review of Sato the Rabbit: The Moon

Sato the Rabbit: The Moon
by Yuki Ainoya; illus. by the author; trans. from Japanese by Michael Blaskowsky
Preschool, Primary    Enchanted Lion    72 pp.    g
11/21    978-1-59270-306-7    $17.95

Sato, the boy in the rabbit costume from Sato the Rabbit (rev. 1/21), returns for seven cozy, dreamy, nature-based adventures. In “The Green Screw,” Sato comes across a tiny, green, screwlike sprout. He turns it, and with every rotation more and more trees pop into leaf. Then he finds a daisy-looking flower, and when he rotates it like a steering wheel, green leaves shower down upon him. There are other creatures in Sato’s world, mostly small children in costumes with animal ears, like his, and he even has a party where he plays the tuba to accompany the rain’s “music.” But for the most part, these small stories are solitary adventures in a benign, quirky setting full of soft pillows, delicious snacks (what would a bit of moon taste like?), and surprising transformations. Like many narratives that celebrate joy and harmony, it ends with a wedding. Sato, in text and (gorgeous) pictures, is industrious, curious, experimental, and focused, using the found materials around him to fashion inventions (a curtain made of rain, a rolled-up red carpet made of fallen leaves) that enhance his surroundings and provide an arena for his imagination. In other words, Sato is every child at play.

From the January/February 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Sarah Ellis
Sarah Ellis is a Vancouver-based writer and critic, recently retired from the faculty of The Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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