As many thousands of people, particularly children, continue to make the arduous journey to the US border from Latin America in search of a better life, the importance of a book like Two White Rabbits can’t be understated. In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north, crossing many borders, stopping only so that her father can take on odd jobs to fund the next leg of the journey. At one point, the pair are joined on their journey by a dog (although perhaps it’s a coyote…), and at each stop the young girl befriends someone. In one town, she meets a young boy who gives her two stuffed white rabbits, giving the story its name.
They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move. It is a different childhood narrative than the cozy, cuddled version we’re used to seeing in picture books, but this is what Groundwood does best: publish books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere.
“This book is a great tool for introducing immigration, and can be appreciated on many levels. The digitally created illustrations are detailed and full of expression, telling a story of love, struggle, and determination. An important and timely picture book for every library collection.”– School Library Journal
Aside from the mass exodus of people from Latin America into the US, there are scads of refugees pouring out of Syria and the surrounding regions, and the stories continue to top the nightly news. Children no doubt have questions about this, and Two White Rabbits is a great way to start the conversation. It’s already received accolades and starred reviews from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and and Kirkus, and is sure to find more praise in libraries, classrooms and personal collections.
Two White Rabbits
Written by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng
Hardcover with jacket, $18.95