Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present

Last updated Friday, June 3, 2005

Author: Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Date of Publication: 1962
ISBN: 0060269456
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2005

Synopsis: Finding a birthday present for her mother is no easy task for our heroine. Luckily, she happens upon the avuncular Mr. Rabbit, whose heart is in the right place, even if he doesn't always have the best ideas. Ultimately, his suggestions do come in handy, and between the two of them they determine the ideal birthday tribute: the gift of color. Children will join the protagonists in contemplating how to make the abstract tangible, and all readers will be delighted to see yellow translate to bananas, as green is given in pears, and blue takes the shape of grapes.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What would your mother/ father/ siblings/ etc/ like for a present?
•  What would you do if you couldn't think of anything to give them?
•  What was the best present you've ever gotten?
•  What do you think the 'lovely present' is?
•  What is your favorite color?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What else is red? What else is yellow? What else is green? What else is blue?
•  Why did the girl need the rabbit's help? Is he real or her imaginary friend?
•  Whose birthday is it?
•  Do you think the mother liked the basket of fruit?
•  What else could the girl have given her? What kinds of presents would your mother like?
•  What could she have given her mother if her mother liked orange, purple, pink, white, black.....?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a birthday basket using items of different colors - Cut out shapes in different colors, and put in the basket.
•  Make a paper birthday cake, and glue candles on the cake for how old each child is.
•  Make a headband with bunny ears.

Special activities:
•  Play charades - tell the group a color, and then have them act out an item of that color.
•  Bring ahead option for prize books - bring birthday wrapping paper and have the children wrap the prize books to be given out later.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!