"review" · Children's · Illustrator · Picture book · recommend · Uncategorized

I imagine you’ll like this one

30 DAYS OF PB 2013 aDay Two:  Imagine Harry written by Kate Klise,

illustrated by M. Sarah Klise

Harcourt (bk site), 2007. hardcover.

Imagine-Harry-Klise-Kate-9780152057046Not everyone can see Little Rabbit’s very best friend, Harry. But that’s okay with Little Rabbit. He and Harry are too busy rolling down hills, climbing trees, and avoiding baths to mind very much. Imagine a best friend who knows exactly when you need him. Imagine Harry.–publisher’s comment

Imagine Harry has a timeless quality about it. I blame the warm colors and the sweet realism of the characters. Okay, yes, the characters are animals, but you(‘ll) know what I mean. Little Rabbit is content to play with his best friend Harry, whom to everyone else appears imagined. As Little Rabbit makes friends at school, Harry becomes less and less a presence, slowly phasing out activity-wise, until Little Rabbit makes the startling realization that he hasn’t seen Harry for weeks. The results aren’t panic, but rather a sense that such is the natural order of things, that Harry’s moving away was an eventuality, and he will be fondly remembered. little rabbit klise spread_IH_18-19 It is of interest to me how making friends at school might change Little Rabbit’s excuses for not bathing or eating brussel sprouts, staying up past his bedtime, or requiring extra servings of cookies. Maybe Harry sincerely existed, rather than merely functioning as a ruse that the mother sometimes questions. He is likely both. In the end, he comes to represent a certain time in childhood, pre-dating the sort of agreements a child makes upon entering school. Harry is like summertime–which has me appreciating his association with before the school year. little rabbit klise spread_IH_4-5 M. Sarah adds lovely little details to her settings. You’ll notice the portraits and pictures on the walls. The opening double-page of the story hosts a portrait of the mother (l) and a row of smaller portraits of Little Rabbits peers (r) with one empty frame (or is Harry is just as invisible on film/in paint). Little Rabbit isn’t lonely. Though evidently an only child, we find images of a Mother Rabbit and Little Rabbit doing all kinds of activities together. Harry isn’t evidence of an absence in Little Rabbit’s life; just that there is plenty of room for imagination in any child’s life.


Check out: Little Rabbit and The Meanest Mother on the Earth (Harcourt 2010), my review.

activities to accompany the book, and an interview (via Harcourt). an excerpt:

“Little Rabbit was born from sketches Sarah drew a few years ago when we were working on one of the books in the Regarding the . . . series. She sent me some of those sketches and asked if I thought I could write a story about them. Who couldn’t have? They were so adorable and evocative. The nice thing about stories with rabbits is that children really relate to them—rabbits are both small and defenseless; they have no money or power; and they’re just trying to figure out life, bit by bit, problem by problem.”–Kate

{images (as marked) belong to the Kate and M. Sarah Klise}

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