Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Rabbityness

Empson, Jo (Author/Illustrator)
Child’s Play 2012. 32 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9781846434921 (hardcover)
9781846434822 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, figurative language, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Rabbit could be called a Renaissance rabbit: he liked doing all the usual things rabbits do, but “Rabbit also liked doing unrabbity things,” like painting and making music.

Skillful and fluid illustrations in black ink capture the movement and spirit of Rabbit’s naturalistic behaviour (hopping, washing his ears), grounded by minimal but evocative settings. When the page is turned onto Rabbit’s unrabbity activities, the world goes wild with inky splashes of colour and form. This book is a beauty—an excellent choice for reading aloud.

Rabbit disappears one day and all the other rabbits are bereft: “The woods were quiet and gray.” Rabbit’s absence quite literally created “a DEEP dark hole.” Then they find that he has left gifts behind, to make colour and music. The story leaves room for children to speculate about Rabbit’s departure—the reasons and possible destinations. The focus remains on the others as they try new, unrabbity things, just as their friend did.

The book suggests a touching and positive way of dealing with loss, while readers of all ages will appreciate the message that we all should experience the full spectrum of our own rich rabbityness.

  •  

    Make a list of rabbity things and a list of unrabbity things. Are there things on the list that you like to do as well?

  •  

    Discuss what might have happened to Rabbit. What was his legacy to the others?

  •  

    Have you ever lost someone or something special? What helped you feel better? Write or draw a picture of that person or item.

  •  

    Choral read along with the story. Act out the things Rabbit likes to do.

  •  

    Discuss what might have happened to Rabbit. How would you feel if you lost somebody? If you have lost someone, what helps you remember him or her?

  •  

    Set up a graphic organizer naming other animals. List ordinary and extraordinary things they would like to do.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology