I’m A Hare, So There!
Julie Rowan-Zoch, Author Illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fiction, Mar. 16, 2021
Suitable for Ages: 4-7
Themes: Hare, Animals, Similarities, Differences, Humor
Opening: “Hello, Rabbit.”… “Rabbit? Did you say…rabbit?”
Rabbit? Did you say…rabbit? I’m not a rabbit! I’m a hare, so there!
You may have heard that we hares can outrun turtles. Oh, wait — I mean tortoises…They are similar; but not the same. Still, we hares are speedy, and we can look out for ourselves. Good thing, too, because you never know what you might come across in the desert…
Why I like this book:
This is a smart, witty and simple story about a feisty rabbit — I mean Hare — with attitude. Readers of all ages will enjoy the author’s clever wordplay and jovial banter between Hare and Chipmunk — I mean ground squirrel — about the important differences between a hare and a rabbit. Hares are born with hair. They are larger and have long ears and big feet. They change colors during the winter.
Children will find the author’s sense of humor hilarious, as they watch Hare jump all around the desert, oblivious to the fact he’s being tracked by a Jackal — I mean coyote. They will enjoy the repetition. It is a perfect read aloud for at home and school.
The text is spare and allows Julie Rowan-Zoch to showcase Hare’s story with exuberant and cheeky artwork against the desert backdrop. Hare’s facial expressions and body language really make this story! Kids will want to draw just like Julie!
Be sure to check out the backmatter. The book is educational and kids will learn in the “SIMILAR but not the same” section that there are significant differences between similar animals, like turtles and tortoises, frogs and toads, wasps and bees, and lizards and salamanders. And there is also a page where kids are asked to choose and place the animals that will most likely be able to survive in the desert.
Resources: Have children draw pictures of Hare or any of the other desert animals. This story may also have other applications in real life. For instance, my adopted son is from India, but is frequently mistaken for other ethnicities. Many kids have beautiful names that students may not know how to pronounce correctly. These can be hurtful, in the same way Hare experiences being called a rabbit.
Julie Rowan-Zoch grew up collecting freckles and chasing hermit crabs in New York, and spent years slicing rich breads in Germany before waking up to 300 days of blue Colorado skies. If she doesn’t answer the door, look in the garden. She is also illustrated Louis, authored by Tom Lichtenheld. Visit her online at her website, and on Instagram at @jrzoch.