Rabbit's Gift: A Fable from China
by George Shannon; illustrated by Laura Dronzek
The rabbit in this story starts out with an extra turnip, and winds up with a lot of friends. He passes along the extra turnip to Donkey, who he imagines is lonely. Donkey--not knowing it came from Rabbit--passes the surprise treat along to another animal friend he thinks might need it more. And so on, until it comes full circle.
An end note states that variations of the story have turned up in places as different as Germany and Jordan, and likely exist "among and beyond these cultures."
The understated acrylics cover a lot of ground emotionally, from the animals' kindly nature to the frosty landscape. You can almost feel a chill in the air (though maybe I have the heat turned too low) in Dronzek's expressionistic blending of blues, grays and whites. A dab of yellow in rabbit's white fur tells us something about his disposition--a ray of warmth in the harsh winter.