Have you ever seen the rabbit-in-the-moon? Folktales from many cultures explain how the rabbit came to be there. When award-winning novelist Martha Brooks heard one such tale, she was inspired to write her own lovely story about a little rabbit who finds a special way to brighten the darkest month of the year.
A little rabbit asks his mother how the shape of a rabbit came to be on the moon. She tells him the story of Great Mother Creator Rabbit, who came down to earth to see how her creatures lived. Finding herself cold and hungry, she built a fire, placing a stewpot on top. Another rabbit, seeing her predicament, took it upon himself to save her and jumped into the pot. But before he could perish, Great Mother Rabbit tossed him up into the moon.
The little rabbit’s mother explains that this is why all the rabbits now gather to hear the choir sing “Winter Moon Song,” to bring light and a little magic at the darkest time of the year.
The next night all the rabbits gather to hear the ancient song, and the little rabbit takes his place in the choir. But at the end of the performance, he feels a little disappointed. It had been beautiful, but did not seem all that special, and certainly not magic.
In the wintry air outside the gathering place, the little rabbit looks up at the rabbit-in-the-moon and is suddenly inspired to sing the song once more, very tentatively at first, and then more courageously. Some of the other rabbits, even the old ones, join in; some are moved to tears. And in singing the song anew, they realize the joy in being one great rabbit family.
Leticia Ruifernandez has graced the story with her tender illustrations.
Includes an author’s note.