Rabbityness by Jo Empson (2012)

[Published by Child’s Play]

rabThis time last year we were celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday, complete with family 5km run, autumnal beach swim, and balloon-filled party. It was lively, a little bit crazy, and lots of fun. It was very Dad.

A month later Dad was diagnosed with a vicious form of leukemia and a month after that, he was gone. Dad was so many good things, and he’s a big part of the reason I started this blog. He always believed in us, almost to the point of ridiculousness. I remember once saying I had an idea for a picture book, and he suggested I would be the next Katherine Mansfield. Hyperbole personified.IMG_1525

I could go on for hours, but instead I’ll let today’s perfect book do the talking.

Rabbit liked doing rabbity things, you know the type, sleeping, burrowing, hopping. But he also liked doing unrabbity things. And this is where the illustrations take off. “He liked painting… and making music. This made Rabbit VERY happy! It made him SO happy, all the other rabbits caught his happiness.”

From the most joy-filled image, we turn the page to a smattering of grey leaves. Rabbit had disappeared. For the rabbits left behind, everything was quiet and grey. But the gifts Rabbit left allow them to do unrabbity things, and fill the woods with colour and music again.

When amazing people leave our lives, the best way in which we can honour them, is to be just a little bit like them whenever possible. Dad loved to smile, he loved to hug and he was full of love. Consider this a huge hug from me to you all and feel free to pass it on.

Check out Rabbityness at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Rabbityness from Fishpond


6 thoughts on “Rabbityness by Jo Empson (2012)

  1. Ohhh, Lucy, what an incredibly moving post. And what a lovely way of honouring your Dad. Hugs back to you xxx

  2. Hi Lucy.

    Read your latest review about Rabbityness… and your tribute to your dad.
    Special thoughts heading out to you today.

    L xxx

  3. He would have been so proud of you Lucy, how you have manage to continue with your reviews at the same time as intense study has been inspiring. ❤️

  4. Thanks everybody, it’s taken me a while to get to this point, but I’m happy to now be able to share my dad’s “awesome” with everyone (oh and super pleased to have found the perfect book with which to do so).

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