Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lion vs. Rabbit

I came home exhausted on the last day of school to find a package waiting from Peachtree Publishers.  I was quite excited to find the package waiting and was even more excited to open it to find a new book by Alex Latimer.  My students enjoyed Latimer's other books:  The Boy Who Cried Ninja and Penguin's Hidden Talent.

Lion vs. Rabbit
Latimer's new book, Lion vs. Rabbit, will arrive on August 1st;  just in time for back to school book shopping and Picture Book 10 for 10!

Lion is a bully.  He does mean things to everyone.  The animals decide they need to stop him, but no one is brave enough to try.  They decide to advertise and soon animals arrive from other places to try, but no one can stop Lion.  One day, Rabbit comes to help.  Lion laughs, wondering how a small rabbit can possibly stop him.  Can Rabbit change Lion's bullying ways?  You'll have to read to find out.

Students will love the illustrations Latimer has created.  Latimer has created many animal characters to try to stop Lion.  There is much going on in each illustration as Lion boxes, jousts, and works his way through many challenges.  There are also little clues hidden in the pictures that young readers may begin to notice as the story nears the end.  Latimer also uses speech bubbles embedded within the illustrations to help tell more about what the characters are thinking.  I know young readers enjoy these little "tricks" illustrators use to make their stories interesting.

Book Possibilities
There are so many reasons this book will be in our classroom library when school begins again in August.  In the beginning the story starts with rabbit and lion "stat cards."  There are so many examples of different ways we use writing in our world.  There are stat cards, advertisements, and signs.

The story structure is one young readers can easily follow.  Young readers are always interested in "vs." stories.  This past year my young writers kept trying to write "vs." stories.  It was a difficult genres for them to master.  They were good at writing scenes of confrontations, but had a hard time creating an underlying problem that needed solved.  This book will be just the mentor text for this type of writing.  The story structure is clear.  The problem is evident.  The events are funny.  The solution is perfect.  I always enjoy using books as mentor texts where the author is both illustrator and writer, just like the writers in our classroom.

While this book would be engaging in any reading discussion, I think it is one that really speaks to inferring.   Latimer really makes you think.  Rabbit and Lion challenge each other to many events, but rabbit often wins.  How is that rabbit can win so many events?  There are clues in the story that help readers to know before reading the end.

Students Will Love It!
Most of all, this book will be on our shelf because I know my young readers will want to read it again and again.  They will enjoy the humor in the story, the speech bubbles, and the illustrations.  The characters Latimer has created are hard to resist.  I know it is a book that will go home with young readers again and again.


  1. Cathy~ It sounds as if Alex Latimer wrote this one just for your writers! I can't wait to see the great writing (that will come from this mentor) hanging on your wall in the fall! I will have to add this to my Amazon Wish List!
    Thanks for sharing a great resource and your passion for it's many possibilities in the classroom!

  2. Sounds like one I will need to look up in August! Thanks for helping us envision the possibilities as on-line shopping limits the buyer in that regard.

  3. Cathy,
    I'm in the process of cleaning and organizing the classroom. I have a collection of miscellaneous early chapter books - Tug and Teeny, Frog and Friends, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, etc. Do you have these books in a tub by levels, "Good Chapter Books" ????? Some of these are series, as stated in previous sentence, and others are not part of a series, just single titles. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Mary,
      I do have early chapter books in my room, but the way they get organized each year depends a lot upon my group of students. This year, most of them were in character baskets such as Fly Guy, Henry and Mudge, Penny, etc.. Some years they end up sitting alongside picture books in topic baskets. Sometimes they end up with their own space in the classroom. I prefer them to be as much a part of the library and mixed within the collection as other books. I try not to give them any kind of "special" attention for a variety of reasons.

      You have a few titles above I haven't seen. I look forward to checking them out.


  4. How excited you were chosen to highlight a new release. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Cathy,
    Thanks for the lovely review of Lion vs Rabbit - and it's so nice to read about the book possibilities. I think my love for "vs." stories as a child was certainly an inspiration.
    All the best,

    1. We enjoy your work. I look forward to adding another one of your books to our class library. I know young readers will love it.