Two White Rabbits

by Jairo Buitrago

Other authorsElisa Amado (Translator), Rafael Yockteng (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2015



Local notes

E Bui


Groundwood Books (2015), 32 pages


A young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the U.S. border. They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn't know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 0.9 x 0.25 inches


1554987415 / 9781554987412



User reviews

LibraryThing member nbmars
This book shows a Hispanic father and his young daughter who have left their home and are trying to get somewhere else - sometimes on their own, and sometimes with the assistance of a “coyote”- a person paid to hide migrants and help them get across a border.

We don’t know why the two left, nor where they are trying to go. Thankfully for the cause of realism, the two protagonists wear the same clothes throughout, although they do manage to look showered, and the father regularly shaven. The more unpleasant aspects of emigration are omitted. For example, we see them traveling the desert by night, but not during the day, when they would have been plagued by the heat and by thirst, even in winter. They always seem to be healthy, and never hungry.

Of course one could ask just how much misery and unpleasantness is appropriate to show very young children, but this particular story doesn’t make the horrific trek usually experienced look so bad. On the other hand, all the omissions provide plenty of opportunity for parents or teachers to fill in the blanks or not, as they deem appropriate for each child.

The excellent illustrations by Rafael Yockteng clearly show the father expressing despair over his finances, but happiness when he is with his daughter.

Evaluation: In today's political climate, this book will provide an excellent corrective to the canard that all illegal immigrants are rapists and/or criminals of some kind.
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LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
What seems to be a simple introduction to the issue of refugees and undocumented immigrants from the perspective of a child becomes a launching pad for all kinds of discussion topics, from immigration to empathy. A thoughtful resource to share with kids learning about immigration, war, homelessness, and other relevant subjects.… (more)
LibraryThing member williamlong33
The main character in this book is an imaginative little girl who explains the world she sees as she and her father cross the Mexico-America border. It shows that there is a lot of story behind only a few simple utterances. It would be useful for exploring the differences in how we see the world, but also the ways we are the same.… (more)
LibraryThing member Sondosottallah
This story shows a glimpse into the life of people trying to migrate to another country. A young girl and her father are trying to reach the United States boarder from Mexico. She is not sure where she is going but along the way she observes everything she sees.
LibraryThing member GabbyF
This was the first picture book I've read that explicitly described the experiences of a young child crossing the border with parents. This is also the first picture book I've read that may help children process this experience, with very kid-friendly metaphors. Additionally it's a beautifully written and drawn story that I think can help other children in empathizing with friends or classmates whose families have immigrated.… (more)
LibraryThing member RaeganZuyus
This is a really touching story about the journey of a father and daughter as they immigrate from Mexico looking for work and a new place to call home. It does a really good job at showing the child like innocence of the daughter and the worried sternness love of the father as they make their way from place to place.

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