Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present

by Charlotte Zolotow

Other authorsMaurice Sendak (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1962



Call number




Harper & Row (1962): A Children's Choice Book Club Edition


Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl find a colorful present for her mother's birthday.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ksimpson
This is a cute little story about a little girl who cannot think of anything to get for her mother for her birthday. So she decided to talk to her friend Mr. Rabbit. Mr. Rabbit can think of lots of great gift ideas and between the two they put together a gift basket made up of the little girl’s
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mother’s favorite things.
In this book, the characters go through lots of colors and naming different types of things. When I read it, I get bored with all the repetition (except that I do like the way it is worded because it sounds exactly like how someone with a British accent would talk), but I think younger children would like it because they could predict what would be coming. The pictures are great. They really help keep the story interesting. All in all, I really like this book. I get to read it in a British accent, which cracks my daughter up, and I love the sweet tone throughout the book.
If I were to use this in the classroom or with a group of children, I would probably keep the accent and hopefully be close enough to the kids so they could see the pictures. This would be a good story to tell with younger kids when it was around someone’s birthday or at the time of year where everyone gets to know everyone else’s birthdays. It would also be good to use to reinforce colors and how to organize information.
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LibraryThing member catieanderson4
This book is very cute. I would read it in small group and have the kids echo read because of the great repetition that it provides. I think that this book would be good for younger kids in a more quiet time of the day. I wouldnt say that it is an extremely interesting book, but its pretty cute.
LibraryThing member EmilyAnnSp
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present is about a young girl who is trying to figure out what to give her mother for her birthday. The little girl asks Mr. Rabbit what would be a good gift for her mother. She told Mr. Rabbit that her mother liked the colors red, yellow, green and blue. They went into
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the woods and found different fruits that are the colors that the little girls mother liked. She ended up making a very pretty fruit basket for her mother's birthday with the help of Mr. Rabbit. This is great for readers who are trying to think of good ideas for parents.
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LibraryThing member AshleyCampbell
This is a good read aloud for young to middle elementary aged students. The story has some reptative dialogue between Mr. Rabbit and the little girl. Colors and real life examples of colors are a major theme in the book. As well, there is a review of reasonable suggestions versus unreasonable ideas.
LibraryThing member amber85
The little girl is trying to figure out what to get her mother for her birthday. She goes and asks Mr. Rabbit what should she get her mother. He asks her what is he favorite color and she says the color red. Then he names stuff that color and she figures out to get her red apples. Then names the
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color yellow and Mr. Rabbit told her to get bananas. At the end of the story the little girl puts all the fruit in the basket for her mother and thanks Mr. Rabbit for helping her.
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LibraryThing member medebrielle
Mr. Rabbit and the lovely present is a book about a little girl who is trying to find the perfect present for her mother. She asks Mr. Rabbit and he asks what the little girl’s mother’s favorite color is. She tells him and he begins naming fruits that represent those colors. In the end she
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gives her mother a wonderful basket of fruit.
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LibraryThing member kb143317
A little girl asks Mr. Rabbit to help her find a gift for her mother’s birthday. Mr. Rabbit and the little girl find objects based on colors the mother likes. By the end of the story the present is a basket of fruit that they have gathered throughout their walk in the country.

This book had me
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reminiscing over the presents I use to come up with to give to my mother when I was a small child. I remember when I was six years old painting “Happy Mother’s Day” and flowers on the backside of a paper plate with finger nail polish. This may seem like an odd Mother’s Day gift but my mother proudly holds on to my creation to this day.

Extension Ideas
1. Discuss the difference between fruits and vegetables. Use the food mentioned in the book along with others in an activity where the children will put them into the correct column and explain why.

2. Sort objects based on similar characteristics.
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LibraryThing member IEliasson
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present is simply a lovely little picture book. Sweet and gentle, it is a humorous journey into the ultimate gift giving dilemma—Mommy’s birthday! What child will not empathize with the heroine’s hunt for just the right present? This clever concept book
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surreptitiously slips in color identification and association, as well as a lesson in gift appropriateness. Great bedtime reading that lends itself to further discussion of colors, food, fruits and gifts, as well as if rabbits really can talk . . .
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LibraryThing member edtech5
Zolotow, C., & Sendak, M. (1977). Mr. rabbit and the lovely present. New York: HarperTrophy
This is a beautifully illustrated concept book about colors. It is much more than the basic book teaching colors because it has a story woven into it about a little girl that wants to find a birthday present
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for her mother. She searches for something red, blue, green, and yellow and the character Mr. Rabbit is there to help.
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LibraryThing member mmuncy
This is about a young girl who doesn't know what to give her mother as a present. She asks Mr. Rabbit for help and they start trying to figure out what to give her. They start with what her mother likes. After much discussion the girl gives her mother a basket full of fruit.

This book was good, but
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not one of my favorites. The illustration of the rabbit was a little strange to me.

I would have students write a short story over what they would get their mother or someone else for a present.
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LibraryThing member fatlamb
Caldecott winner, really... I am sorry but the illustrations do nothing for me. The illustrations do not enhance the story, I find the illustrations bland and boring. The story is cute, heart warming, and a good story but not for me. A little girl needing assistance in finding a birthday present
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for her mother asks a rabbit to help her. I can see how children would like the book because of the rhythmic story, after a while children can predict what the rabbit and little girl will be saying, with a straight forward dialogue. The concept revolves around colors, it does a good job in making connections with common objects for children with color.
Ages 4 and up.
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LibraryThing member karenamorg
This 1963 Caldecott Honor book is a thoughtful concept book about four colors (red, yellow, green and blue). The colors are introduced within a whole narrative story, written by Charlotte Zolotow, rather than like the common concept color book that simply shows the color or objects of a certain
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color accompanied by the word for the color. A rabbit suggests items of a certain preferred color as possible birthday gifts to a little girl asking what she should get her mother for a birthday gift. None of the suggestions suits her, until he names fruit (apple for red, banana for yellow, pear for green and grapes for blue). Maurice Sendak’s muted watercolor illustrations set the perfect, peaceful tone. Limited as a book teaching color, because even most preschoolers know those four colors, and the overall quality of the illustrations is very soft and subdued. It is successful depicting patterns (the story structure) and patience. Because the story includes humor and a clever pattern, this book would be suitable for children in preschool through second grade.

Zolotow, C., Sendak, M., & Harper & Row, Publishers. (1962). Mr. Rabbit and the lovely present. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.
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LibraryThing member panfeng1115
The story is simple, but the pictures is nice and beautiful. Good illustration for this book. Very imagination.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
What a joy to read this to our two little neighborhood girls tonight. It was a lovely evening and such fun to have their company.

A little girl asks a rabbit for help in choosing just the right birthday present for her mother.

As the rabbit provides ideas, the child rejects them until the last item.
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Knowing her mother likes red, she cannot give her a cardinal, a red roof or red underwear, but she can give her mother an apple.

As the reader journeys with the little girl through a spectrum of colors, the end result is a bananna for yellow, a pear for green and blue for grapes.

Ashley and Kayla had great fun running on the deck and throughout the yard identifying objects that matched the colors mentioned in the book.

This is a gentle story of the love a daughter has for her mother in wanting to choose a very special gift.

I loved the gentle illustrations!
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LibraryThing member Fjola
Utterly charming! This book has so much charm, between the earnest, serious little girl looking for the perfect present for her mother and the helpful, comical, casual Mr. Rabbit. The pace of the book is entrancing, part suspenseful, part predictable, feels like sailing in a light summer breeze. I
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can see why children have loved this book for half a century.

"Something blue, maybe," said the little girl.
"Lakes are blue," said the rabbit.
"But I can't give her a lake, you know," said the little girl.
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LibraryThing member crazy4reading
Another book that I bought for my kids when they were little. I decided to read it before I donate it to the library. The pictures are beautiful in this book.

A little girl needs a present for her mother because it is her birthday. It is a great book to introduce children to colors and to reading.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Well, I'd love a fruit basket for my birthday. And I never got anything creepy from this. No, I won't revisit it to check my memory from decades ago.

bought a copy at a thrift store to release via
Decided to go ahead and reread it. Text is lovely. Fruit basket is lovely.
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Poses and settings in pix are lovely. Big-headed girl and naked man shaped rabbit are a bit creepy, I admit.
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LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl find a lovely present for her mother, who is especially fond of red, yellow, green, and blue.
LibraryThing member booklover3258
I love finding and reading old children's books. This one was okay. The illustrations were nice but the repetition throughout the story because stale after a few pages. I did like the ending with the fruits and the basket. I guess children could learn the colors from this book and the items
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associated with the colors.
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Caldecott Medal (Honor Book — 1963)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

8 x 6.75 inches

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