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Rabbit Cake (Paperback)

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Elvis Babbit is an 11-year-old budding naturalist who takes after her mother, a biologist, who drowned 4 months earlier while sleepswimming (yes, sleepswimming). Elvis searches for an explanation to her mother's death everywhere she can think of: her mother's manuscript on animal sleep habits; by talking to her sympathetic school counselor; and even by calling her mother's telephone psychic. She's also trying to solve the problem of her grieving lipstick-wearing father, and her sister who has developed a dangerous sleepwalking habit of her own and a goal of baking 1000 rabbit-shaped cakes. Through Elvis's eyes we see the whole Babbitt family coming to terms with their grief, each in their own quirky way. Elvis is a wonderfully precocious, strong, and darkly funny narrator, and I loved her voice. A wonderful debut from Annie Hartnett.

— From Jill's Picks

March 2017 Indie Next List

“When Eva Rose Babbitt, mother of daughters Lizzie, 15, and Elvis, 10, drowns while sleep-swimming, her daughters are left to fend for themselves emotionally while their father tends to his grief by wearing his wife's bathrobe and lipstick. Elvis stays up at night, trying to keep Lizzie, a sleepwalker and sleep-eater, from burning the house down with her nocturnal 'cooking'. But Elvis doesn't trust the circumstances of her mother's death and is determined to finish her mother's book, The Sleep Habits in Animals and What They Tell Us About Our Own Slumber, so she does a little research of her own. Annie Hartnett has created endearing and memorable characters in a delightfully original story that is sure to become a beloved favorite of readers everywhere.”
— Kris Kleindienst (E), Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, MO


Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn't yet know--like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother's silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother's death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781941040560
ISBN-10: 194104056X
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Pages: 344
Language: English