Sato the Rabbit (Sato the Rabbit #1)

Sato the Rabbit  (Sato the Rabbit #1)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Sato the Rabbit

In this surreal collection of short vignettes, we are transported to the world of Sato the Rabbit: a world very much like our own, yet one that is imbued with an added dimension of wonder and curiosity, in which ordinary objects and everyday routines become magical encounters.

"One day, Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He's been a rabbit ever since." With these surrealist, yet matter-of-fact opening lines, we are transported to a world very much like our own, yet one that is imbued with an added dimension of wonder and curiosity. In Sato's world, ordinary objects and everyday routines can lead to magical encounters: a rain puddle, reflecting the sky, becomes a window that can be opened and peered through. A walnut is cracked open to reveal a tiny home, complete with a bathtub and a comfy bed. During a meteor shower, Sato catches stars in a net, illuminating the path home for a family taking an evening walk.

This whimsical tale is the first in a trilogy from Japan.

More books in the series - See All

Kirkus Reviews

The painterly illustrations suggest homage to Where the Wild Things Are, works by Eric Carle, and others. Sweet, surreal, and contemplative. 

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

"One day," creator Ainoya begins, "Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He's been a rabbit ever since." He looks very much like a child in a rabbit costume, and he walks upright through a natural world reminiscent of the Chirri & Chirra series--one that offers enchanting and sometimes droll revelations. He waters his garden, and a spread traces the water along a twisting, turning course through the forest back to its source, a pond that, in Blaskowsky's natural-sounding translation, "is blowing water into the hose as hard as it can." Next, Sato washes laundry in a green field, hanging up white shapes "piece by piece" against the blue sky. As clouds scud through, the laundry soon begins to resemble them, and, holding the ends of a sheet, Sato "becomes a ship and sets sail through rippling waves of grass." In subsequent sections, Sato captures shooting stars, takes a voyage in a watermelon he's eating, finds tiny worlds inside walnuts, and drinks cold tea with ice "made from/ water containing all the events/ of spring, summer, and fall." Each episode is over in a few pages, and every one offers kaleidoscopic, pleasingly sensorial images made for dreaming on. Ages 6-9. (Feb.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Dreamlike and fanciful, each adventure is as much a flight of fancy as it is a plunge into gorgeous colors and shapes. Sato catches stars during a meteor shower, and the yellow glow guides a family of bears on a moonless night; he eats delicious watermelon which becomes a boat in the sea; while cracking open walnuts, he discovers miniature treasures inside each shell - loaves of bread, a warm bath - and when he covers his eyes with the shells, he finds himself beneath a sky full of stars. The ocean, clouds, the night sky, reflections - these are the cosmic places Sato explores in each beautifully wrought adventure. Simple, brief poetic text and illustrations in rounded shapes, in light and dark toned pastel colors, add to the feeling of wonder." —Youth Services Book Review
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2021
Sato the Rabbit
Batchelder Award
Honor Book 2022
ALSC Notable Children's Book
Selection 2022

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