George Shannon & Laura Dronzek
Harcourt, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch
his lovely retelling of a folktale is reminiscent of Catherine Ryan Hyde's book,
Pay It Forward
. The concept is that, if you do something nice for someone, then that person will do something nice for someone else, and so on and so on. Good deeds will be paid forward to the next person, with the potential to change the world.
n this picture book, Rabbit digs up two turnips at the beginning of what promises to be a harsh winter. Knowing that one turnip will suffice for his own needs, he anonymously leaves the spare turnip by Donkey's front door. Donkey finds the turnip and while he is touched that someone was so generous, he realizes that his potato is enough to sustain him for the winter. Thus, he passes it on to Goat. This happens several more times until ultimately, the turnip ends up back where it started: at Rabbit's front door.
hile Rabbit could have determined that he now had every right to keep the turnip, he goes one step further in this circle of generosity: he shares the turnip equally with all the creatures who paid the turnip forward.
is an absolutely wonderful book that has many lessons to teach in a subtle way - showing us that unselfishness and random acts of kindness have the capability of changing the world. Laura Dronzek's beautiful and simple drawings seem just the right companion to this inspiring book.
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