A rhyming tale of a girl helping a baby rabbit find its way home, Samantha and the Baby Rabbit is an especially fitting read for animal lovers.
The story begins: “Samantha was out playing/ In the backyard with her toys/ When she thought she saw some movement/ And she thought she heard a noise.” She runs to get her father and together they find a young rabbit—one that’s far too small to defend itself or escape quickly if attacked—and attempt to locate its mother to ensure its survival.
After looking all over, they learn from a neighbor that rabbits often hide their young in burrows underground. With this information, they’re able to locate the other babies and carefully place the rabbit there, where the mother rabbit later returns.
Although straightforward, the story is compelling due to the stakes for the rabbit as well as Samantha’s clear investment in the outcome and her obvious loving relationship with her father. The colorful, dynamic illustrations complement the story and bring Samantha and her father’s search to life.
The simple rhyme scheme also works in concert with the whole, although the rhymes occasionally feel forced and the phrasing archaic (“’Twas then that they decided/ To re-search the yard anew”).
A particularly compelling lesson comes when Samatha readily offers to adopt the baby rabbit, but her father points out that it would be happier with its family; through this, young readers learn that it’s important to do the right thing for whomever they’re trying to help, rather than taking an option that might be easier or more personally appealing.
Samantha makes a compelling protagonist who tries her best to help and learns along the way. Despite a few flaws, her story provides an enjoyable experience for both young readers and the adults who read with them.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.