Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit


Children - Animals
36 Pages
Reviewed on 10/02/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers' Favorite

Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit is a whimsical fantasy of a dog, squirrels, and a rabbit becoming friends and playing. After decorating Easter eggs and doing an egg hunt, Mr. Rabbit explains the importance of Easter to Christians in easy to understand terms for children. How do eggs relate to Jesus dying on the cross? Children and their parents will love the explanations and images. Authors S. Jackson, A. Raymond, and M. Schmidt are able to take a massive, difficult subject and explain it so children can grasp. Teachers will benefit from the explanations as they read the book with children at church, school, or home. Mr. Rabbit becomes their friend and teacher and helps them to unravel the mysteries surrounding Easter eggs and Christian beliefs.

The mixed-media images help to convey the story of friendship, playing, helping, and understanding the meaning of Easter and why it’s celebrated annually. The mix of photographs and illustrations adds lovely visuals to help draw children into the book and keep them interested. Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit is an imaginative story of three different kinds of animals: a dog, squirrels, and Mr. Rabbit playing together. Authors S. Jackson, A. Raymond, and M. Schmidt take us on a delightful journey through the woods, Easter, and Christian beliefs. They manage to weave together the story of Easter in a fun way that teachers, parents, and children will enjoy. I think all public, school, and home libraries would benefit from this whimsical journey through the meaning of Easter.

Jack Magnus

Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit is a children’s religious-themed picture book written by Mary L. Schmidt. Uncle Stubby was a fox squirrel who was surprised to discover a rabbit in his backyard one day. He had never seen a rabbit before and wondered what kind of animal it was and where it came from. Soon, a baby squirrel came out and wanted to play with the newcomer. He ran over and jumped at the rabbit, but their attempts at playing failed. Rabbits and squirrels have different skills and ways of playing. Then the rabbit introduced himself as Mr. Rabbit. He suggested that Uncle Stubby and his family come to visit the Rabbit family. The next day, the squirrels and their friend, Shadow, went to visit the Rabbits in their snug little den.

Mary L Schmidt’s Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit introduces Easter and the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ for all mankind to young children as seen through the eyes of the squirrels, Uncle Stubby, and Shadow, the dog. The author includes descriptions of hopscotch that children can follow, and there’s a marvelous series of panels describing the process of Easter egg making and the grand Easter Egg Hunt that follows. The illustrations are bright and colorful, and they help convey the message of Easter on a kid’s level. This work also discusses how Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven is a promise to Christians that, when they die, their spirits will also go to heaven, a message that will bring hope to those kids who have experienced the loss of a grandparent or other relative. Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit is highly recommended.

Joshua Soule

Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit is a delightful children’s book that brings something a little different to the table than other children’s books. Author Mary L. Schmidt creates wonderful characters for kids; though the squirrels and rabbits are a bit different, they share their differences with one another and learn from another perspective. As an Easter-themed story, the characters are able to share about their Easter traditions and beliefs, from Easter eggs to the story of Christ and the real meaning of Easter. With a bit of silliness, a touch of curiosity, and a lot of imagination, this book offers a fun and exciting way to convey the message of Jesus to young children. The characters convey compassion and understanding in the realm of diversity, an important element in our society today!

As a reader of children’s books, I am always so pleased to say I have found something unique. Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit is certainly unique. Schmidt has done an incredible job of combining elements that will cater to a child’s vivid imagination and also incorporates real-life educational concepts. The story starts strongly with playful characters who happen to play a bit differently from each other. Readers will learn something about animals, have fun with silly characters, and hear about the true story of Easter. The illustrations are vibrantly colorful and full, the text is large and colorful. Overall, children will be engaged and entertained while learning - all things you hope for in a book. Well done!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Shadow is a dog. His best friend, Uncle Stubby, is a fox squirrel. One day, they see a rabbit hopping around the yard. While trying to make new friends and play, the baby squirrel, Digger, tried jumping on the rabbit. Only he missed. Invited to the rabbit house for a visit, Shadow and his friends set out to have a fun day learning about rabbits, making new friends, and just having fun. Easter is coming and Cookie Bunny drops by to remind everyone to decorate the eggs to hide for an Easter Egg hunt. Then we learn the Christian meaning of Easter.

Mary L. Schmidt, S. Jackson, and A. Raymond have collaborated to make a charming picture book story about animals and the real meaning of Easter. Shadow and Friends Meet Mr. Rabbit begins with the adventure of the squirrel family when going to visit the rabbit family home. It’s written like a fairy tale, using simple language to appeal to young readers. The colorful illustrations help carry the story along as the interesting and fun interactions between the animals become a learning exercise for both the animals in the story and the young reader enjoying the story.

The lesson is about the true meaning of Easter, what it means to be a Christian, and who was Jesus Christ and why he died on the cross to save us from our sins. Everything is carefully explained for young readers to follow and understand. This is a unique and fun way to introduce some of the difficult and troubling parts of the crucifixion of Jesus. A powerful message presented in simple terms for young readers.