Pancho Rabbit’s dad has gone north to find work and make money for his family. He has been gone a long time and his family and friends miss him. They get word that he is coming on a certain day, and the whole village prepares a feast for his return. When late in the night they realize that he’s not coming home, Pancho decides that he will go north to fetch his father. The trip begins when Coyote offers to help him. After confronting many dangers, Pancho is trapped and helpless until his father and his friends find and rescue him. Together, they all return to the village safely.
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While some children will read and enjoy this story because of the rabbit’s bravery and the safe return of his father, others will read into it the truth of migrants who search for work away from their homes, and how their families worry about them while they are gone. These readers especially will understand the play on words when they read about the Coyote, and realize that this fictional story is grounded in reality.
The author/illustrator’s hand-drawn culturally relevant images are collaged digitally. His truth telling is forthright and gentle enough for young readers, and he includes pages in the back of the book that offer ways for parents and guardians to benefit from this wonderful book. Recommended for those wishing to learn about migrant families and schools with migrant populations.
—Reviewed by Bianca Elliott, PhD, Lansing High School and Concordia University, Portland