Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rabbit's Year by Melissa Keil and Jedda Robaard

It was Rabbit’s special year, but Rabbit didn’t feel very special. All Rabbit wanted was a friend — but making friends wasn’t easy for shy Rabbit…
2011 marks the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. This book is a delightful and thoughtful gift for any littlies born this year. Bonus Chinese zodiac guide at back of book!
It was huge but cool surprise to find this book all packaged up in my mailbox. I ADORE kidlit (and majored in it at uni) ~ I teach primary school and have 3 primary aged kids of my own so I am always reading picture and chapter books.

My daughter claimed this straight away :)

Being an arty kinda girl, the first thing that gets me with picture books is the illustrations.

Gosh, I LOVE the ones in here. Rabbit and the rest of the animal gang are gorgeous ~ the illustrations are WHIMSICAL and EVOCATIVE ~emotions captured in a quiet and compelling way. Each little character (from Rabbit to the mischeivious Monkey to the Dragon and Snake) has it's own personality. The animals are just plain CHARMING

As for the story ~ it's about Rabbit who, despite being generous, creative and happy is a lonely little thing. It's through Rabbit playing music that he meets this gorgeous crew of animals who also play music.

The text is simple ~ lending a lot of the story to be told through the illustrations and the readers imagination. I would say this is written beautifully with restraint. 

The coolest thing is ~ as you meet each character, they all take their personalities from the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, I know ~ cute, right? And there's a chart and info about that on the back (FYI, I am a 1980's girl which makes me a Monkey: "Monkeys are very smart, and are gifted at everything they do. They are funny, curious, inventive and they love practical jokes" (from Rabbit's Year). The cute thing was, my daughter is a monkey too (2004) ~ okay, well, she thought it was cute, haha. (My boys are a Horse and a Snake... my daughter looked them up and was quietly smug about "being the cutest animal" haha.)

Soooo... Rabbit's Year has been released in time for 2011 ~ The year of the Rabbit. It came out in February and is available now. 

*also, you can enjoy this book in mere minutes ~ making it a tempting one to revisit at night when you only have a smidgen of snuggle read time...
Black Dog Books has kindly (yay!) allowed me to share some pictures from their blog: behind the scenes ~ the making of a picture book
These are some of the design concepts that illustrator Jedda Robaard played around with in creating rabbit:

Rabbit's Year @ Black Dog Books
Author: Melissa Keil
Illustrator: Jedda Robaard 
Publication Date: February 2011
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 2 - 7 (my daughter is 6 and a half :D)

Many thanks to black dog books for this utterly delightful book.

here's my girl @ Questacon in Canberra :D
(picture. just because)


  1. The book is so cute! So is your daughter! Very adorable :)

  2. Oh wow those illustrations are adorable!

    And your daughter is so sweet. She looks just like you :)

  3. I love a good picture book too being a childcare teacher (well ex one). The drawings are gorgeous and so is your daughter :)

  4. ahh, thanks guys.

    I know ~ she pretty much looks EXACTLY like me

    Nic ~ I so did not know you were a childcare teacher ~ very cool :)

  5. Your girl is adorable.

    And I don't think the magic of whimsical picture books ever gets old.

  6. Aw, your little girl is just too cute for words. And this sounds like a fun little book. I'll have to look for it for my BFF's little one.

    btw, i gave you an award on my blog :)

  7. OMG how cute is this cover!? And your daughter is pretty precious :)

  8. Your kid is super cute!

    And the book looks adorable, I like that they weave in the whole Chinese Zodiac theme.

  9. The book cover and the illustrations are so cute. Your daughter, really gorgeous btw, sure likes it.


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