The black rabbit by Philippa Leathers (2013)

Does anyone else find the cover of this dinky wee book weirdly mesmerising? Each time I start to write my review, I’m lured back into a meditation on the pink-cheeked tiny chap and his dark brooding companion.

Okay, this could take some time. I’ve now discovered the endpapers which cleverly map Rabbit’s journey. Snap out of it Lucy. Clearly I’ve been sitting in front of a computer for far too long today!

One morning Rabbit wakes up to a disaster, there is a giant black rabbit dogging his footsteps. He can’t evade this menacing presence in spite of many nifty escape techniques like running very far, hiding behind a tree and swimming very fast. There is no escape.rabbit

Rabbit’s entry into the deep dark wood finally results in freedom from his “shadow” or should I say shadow. It’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire, as a nasty wolf jumps out and begins to chase Rabbit. When it looks like all is lost and Rabbit is a goner, his friendly shadow appears and scares Wolf back into the woods.

This book is just a whole bunch of good things. The illustrations are wonderful. Bees and dragonflies flit onto the pages, and I love the contrast between the soft greens and blues of general life with the brooding greys and browns of the woods.

A lovely book to read aloud, the kids will delight in figuring out what’s really going on.

Check out The black rabbit at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy The black rabbit from Fishpond.

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