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Two White Rabbits

Written by Jairo Buitrago

Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

Translated by Elisa Amado

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554987412
  • 8.27" x 8.86"
  • from grade K to grade 2
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Mexico
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Homelessness & Poverty



Publication Date October 01, 2015

In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the US border.

They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.

As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the US border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant’s perspective.

Selected for the Kirkus Best Picture Books of the Year 2015

Selected for the School Library Journal Best Picture Books of the Year 2015

Selected for the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, Recommended Book 2015

Selected for the A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year 2016

Selected for the Notable Books for a Global Society 2016

Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Books 2016


Jairo Buitrago

Jairo Buitrago is a children’s book author who has collaborated with Rafael Yockteng on several picture books, including Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews) and Two White Rabbits, available in Spanish as Dos conejos blancos (three starred reviews). They won the “A la Orilla del Viento” contest (Fondo de Cultura Económica de México) for the Spanish edition of Walk with Me, which was also named to IBBY’s Honor List. Their books have appeared on “Los mejores libros del año” (Venezuela’s Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. Jairo lives in Mexico.

Rafael Yockteng

Rafael Yockteng has illustrated many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup by Jorge Argueta (USBBY Outstanding International Books), and Jimmy the Greatest! (which received six starred reviews) and Two White Rabbits (which received three starred reviews) by Jairo Buitrago. Together, Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng have won the “A la Orilla del Viento” contest (Fondo de Cultura Económica de México), and their books have been included in IBBY’s Honor List, “Los mejores libros del año” (Venezuela’s Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and the White Ravens Catalogue. Rafael lives in Colombia.

Elisa Amado

Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. She has written Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead / Un barrilete para el Día de los muertos, Cousins (Primas) and Tricycle (El triciclo), which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. She is also the author of Why Are You Doing That?. She lives in Toronto.


Star Review

"This simple, yet poignant picture book beautifully illustrates the life of one migrating family. . . . An important and timely picture book." School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"A masterpiece of understatement. In leaving readers with much to wonder about, the book packs the most powerful of punches." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"Hope and hardship coexist in this haunting look at refugees fleeing home in hopes of a safer, more secure life." Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"Older readers will appreciate the allegory, and younger ones the simplicity of this spare immigration tale." Booklist

"Two White Rabbits belongs on bookshelves everywhere: it’s an extraordinary, compelling first step to understanding and empathy, and a persuasive teaching tool to inspire effective doing." BookDragon