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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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****When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

by Judith Kerr

Reviewed February 25, 2002.
Scholastic, 1998 (First published in 1971).  191 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF KER)

I had gotten this book in one of my son’s book orders, and it was sitting around the house.  My husband started reading it, and it turned out to be the sort of book that makes you want to read bits aloud to your spouse.  So I had to read it myself when he was done!

Not many books about World War II have such a humorous and gentle spirit.  The author fictionalized her childhood as a refugee.  Granted, she and her family were very lucky.  They got out of Germany the day before Hitler came to power and left France before the Germans attacked.

The book tells what it was like to leave her home.  The title expresses the girl Anna’s regret that she chose to bring a new toy instead of her old favorite, Pink Rabbit.  When they learned that their house was no longer theirs, her brother joked that Hitler must be playing with Pink Rabbit.

They fled first to Switzerland and later to France.  Her father was a writer and her mother a pianist, and her mother was not at all accustomed to doing household chores.  Judith Kerr tells about their struggles to manage with little money and to adjust to French schools.  Her story is full of humor, making a warm story out of a difficult time.  They don’t gloss over the evils of war--Her uncle, who stayed in Germany, killed himself.  But the focus of the story is how Anna learned to enjoy life with her family in a new place.  She has discovered that most famous people had difficult childhoods, so she feels somewhat regretful that she will never be famous, since her childhood is not difficult.

 Reader comment:  An anonymous reader gives this book 5 stars!


Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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