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...