Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Chinese New Year this year falls on February 3rd, and to continue a tradition, here is a book list featuring rabbits, in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit.

A classic tale of a group of rabbits who leave their threatened warren to start another one on the Downs of England. Memorable characters, adventure, and only a little dated now in its portrayal of gender.

2. Masquerade / Kit Williams

This gorgeous picture book began as a riddle -- the author painted illustrations that were an armchair treasure hunt, giving clues to the location of a real golden hare that Williams had had made and then hidden somewhere in England. It was accompanied by a book by Bamber Gascoigne, The Quest for the Golden Hare, following the quest by readers and fans to uncover the hiding place of the hare.

3. Peter Rabbit / Beatrix Potter

A very familiar tale of Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and of course, Farmer McGregor's garden. It was in this book that I was introduced to the word "soporific", still one of my favourites ;) There is also a delightful "Peter Rabbit" website with lots of information about Beatrix Potter and her world, and also downloadable crafts and activities (like a puppet show!)

4. Prince Babillon, or the Little White Rabbit / Nella

A forgotten gem, this is available in full text online thanks to the Internet Archive. It is a beautiful fairy tale, full of ironic humour, True Love, and wonderful illustrations by Charles Robinson. The heroine is also named Princess Melanie, which of course makes me inordinately fond of the story ;)

5. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane / Kate DiCamillo

Edward Tulane, a self-centred and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself. However, his life changes when he is separated from his comfortable life and the little girl who adores him. He embarks on a journey, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories.

The classic tale of love and becoming real. Heartwarming pathos and the idea of love overcoming all makes this a must-read.


  1. 'The Velveteen Rabbit' has to be one of the most wonderful stories in all the world. When I look at my Bears and sometimes feel regretful that they have such a battered look I remind myself that what this actually reflects is just how loved they are.

  2. Annie- it is a truly wonderful story :)


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