by Douglas Florian
Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez
The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits is one of our absolute favorite new books of the year. Reading this book, you'll discover that rabbits have wonderful habits we humans never knew about, from finding buried treasure to playing recorders and having dance parties, to enjoying nightly bedtime stories!
While this is the perfect book for spring, and works as an Easter book, it works just as well any time of year, with references to rabbits' habits in each of the seasons. Bouncy rhyme and engagingly detailed illustrations that bring out the humor in the text make this glorious picture book simply a joy to read.
In this Issue
One of the Wonderful Habits of Rabbits is "chewing a carrot and biting a beet," so of course that's exactly what we needed to cook in our kitchen to enjoy with this delicious book.
We developed this recipe to be incredibly child-friendly, not only in the taste but also in the preparation. Roasting the beets and carrots brings out their natural sweetness and gives them an appealing texture. Preparation is as simple as washing, rubbing with olive oil, and placing them on the pan, them pop them in the oven until tender. Once they are cool, kids will have a grand time slicing the colorful veggies and mixing them in a bowl. Simple, tasty, and fun to eat!
Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad
Based on Roasted-Carrot-and-Beet Salad
- 4 medium beets (about 1 pound), greens removed
- 8 medium carrots (about 1 pound)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry the beets and carrots.
- Place the beets on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil; use your hands to rub the oil over the beets to coat. Cover the beets with foil.
- Place the carrots on another baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, again rubbing to coat. Sprinkle the carrots with the salt.
- Roast the beets and carrots until very tender. Baking times will vary depending on the size of the vegetables: the carrots can take about 40 to 50 minutes, the beets anywhere from 45 to 70 minutes.
- Once tender, let the beets and carrots cool to room temperature. If desired, rub off the beets' skins to peel.
- Young readers can now use an ordinary kitchen knife to cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces in a large dish and stir until evenly mixed.
- Turn in into a grain salad: Cook up 4 servings of your favorite grain such as rice, quinoa, or millet, and stir into vegetables.
- Mix up a dressing with orange juice, olive oil, and salt, then pour over the veggies.
- Split a pita bread and spread with hummus, then fill with roasted beets and carrots for a tasty sandwich!
Put a new twist on your read-aloud and invite your young reader to act out the various habits of rabbits. Guaranteed to induce hopping, giggling fun and have readers begging to have it read aloud time and time again!
This project starts with a nature walk and a search for sticks that remind us of bunnies. Stand back, because young readers will be in charge as they hunt for sticks that capture their imagination and have extra bunny potential (grown up imaginations cannot even compare)! Collect a stash and then head home, where you can trim away any non-essential bunny-ness with garden clippers as instructed by your young reader.
Then pull out all sorts of art supplies and once again, stand back and let young readers' imaginations take over in transforming the sticks into springtime rabbits, with wonderful habits!
Plenty of Rabbits Puppets or Playthings
- Go on a nature walk and collect sticks with rabbit potential. As your young reader picks up sticks, discuss the stick's attributes; do they see a part that looks as if it could be bunny ears? That is a great stick to bring home. The fun of this is encouraging young readers' imaginations to see beyond the stick to what it could become.
- Parent Step: When you get home, trim away excess stick areas to make the rabbit y-shaped form.
- Sticks collected on nature walk
Variety of art supplies; whatever captures your young readers' imagination:
- Use art supplies to transform the sticks into rabbits!
More from Off the Shelf
One Year Ago: Millie Waits for the Mail
Two Years Ago: Big Bear's Big Boat
Three Years Ago: An Egg is Quiet
Four Years Ago, and More Rabbits: The Tale of Peter Rabbit
How are you enjoying The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Tag your Instagram photos with #booksofftheshelf so we can see what you have been up to!
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