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*While We Were Out* by Ho Baek Lee


While We Were Out
by Ho Baek Lee
Ages 4-8 32 pages Kane Miller March 2003 Hardcover    

One clever rabbit, who can usually be found on the apartment balcony, sneaks inside when the family is at grandma’s. From room to room, the rabbit keeps busy, eating at the table, watching a movie on the couch, even rollerblading across the room - with chopsticks! After wearing herself out, she hops into bed and falls asleep until morning. She does manage to get herself back outside before the family comes home. However, she does not realize what she has left behind.

This book is based on a true story. A 2003 BCCB Blue Ribbon Picture Book Award winner, it was originally published in Korea under the title What On Earth Happened During That Time?

Most of the illustrations are in shades of gray, with a shaded, toned-down look. The rabbit looks like a stuffed animal come to life, and she can do very human things. She can apply lipstick with her paws, cross her legs while fishing, and rub the sleep out of her eyes at dawn. There are a few full-colored pages as well, the most eye-catching being the page where the rabbit is playing dress-up in a costume belonging to the youngest child in the family.

For some children, the ending will be a complete surprise - a funny, complete surprise. Other children will notice the extra something the rabbit leaves behind on almost every page and giggle. Rabbit owners will think this family got away pretty lucky!

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