Sally’s Rating: 2/5
Shadrach by Meindert DeJong is a simple tale of a grandpa who promises his grandson a pet rabbit, resulting in an agonizing week-long wait for the boy until he can get his new bunny and the absolute horror of Shadrach escaping his hutch and disappearing soon after.
Plotwise, this story does not have much to offer. There’s not much action and it’s tedious to get through. Thankfully, the characters make up for it by infusing the story with some humor and kindness. Davie’s characterization is spot on and delves into the psyche of a 6 year old as he obsesses over collecting clover every day before the rabbit gets there, gets deeply upset over his brother tricking him into thinking his rabbit will get bloated if he feeds him the wrong color clover, and feels joy at sharing secrets with his loved ones. The rest of his family has some quirky characteristics, as well, and makes the book tolerable and have an uplifting feel to it.
This book is definitely targeted towards younger children and could easily be read aloud. The narrative and plot are easy to follow, though a bit boring. Shadrach teaches a great lesson on how one needs to be responsible for taking care of a pet and emphasizes the positives of having a loving family.