Kangaroos, turtles, tall ships, castles and, of course, a whimsical rabbit! What more could a child wish for in a perfectly enchanting bedtime story? Tom Paxton captures these delightful images and more in his latest title, Jennifer's Rabbit.
In his most recent foray into the children's literature realm, celebrated folk singer/songwriter and author Tom Paxton intertwines a tale of sleepyland adventure with a divinely inspired story that literally sings as it is read and rightfully so. Paxton, a world-renowned performer best known for his hits, The Last Thing on My Mind and Ramblin' Boy, adapted Jennifer's Rabbit from one of his most beloved and popular children's songs. Tailoring the words from his songs into children's picture books is not a new concept for Paxton. He has published numerous titles in this genre, including Going to the Zoo, The Story of the Tooth Fairy, Engelbert the Elephant, The Marvelous Toy, The Story of Santa Claus and The Jungle Baseball Game. But the words and melody for Jennifer's Rabbit were not initially meant for the public ear; Paxton originally composed the song as a lullaby to help coax his young daughter off to sleep.
This story is the tale of a young girl's fanciful dreamscape, starring a little Jennifer who climbs out of bed in the middle of the night and traipses with her pet rabbit out the window, through the forest, to a moonbeam castle and out to the starlight sea, "where they all had cookies with oolong tea." Along the way, they team up with a kangaroo, a turtle, monkeys and sailors. And, like many of us did in our youth, they attempt to count every star in the sky. Until, like Paxton's daughter and undoubtedly many bed-ready readers they counted "till they could count no more" and fell asleep "as sleepy folk do."Soothingly illustrated with wistful, colorful and endearing drawings, the ever-creative Elizabeth Miles (Louie ∧ Dan Are Friends, Molly Limbo and many classic stories) softly paints Jennifer's Rabbitas the perfect bedtime story to spark the imaginations of youngsters on the verge of dreamland or adults who simply need a refreshing escape from reality.
Heidi Henneman is a freelance writer in New York City who is known for her rooftop parties under starry skies. Her work currently appears in Mademoiselle, Bridal Guide and CITY magazines.