'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 22 April 2011

Review: The Rabbit Problem

You know I have a new favourite author, don’t you? I first fell in love with Emily Gravett’s books with Wolves and have since immersed myself totally in the sheer cleverness and unique nature of Gravett’s multi-media brilliance that really sets her high in the children’s book stratosphere.

What I love about Gravett’s work is that she manages to enchant adults and children in equal measure – and children of wide-ranging age, too. My nine-year-old daughter and I scrabbled over The Rabbit Problem ceaselessly on a recent road trip, and we still immerse ourselves up to the neck whenever the other isn’t looking.

The Rabbit Problem is a uniquely-structured book, laid out calendar-style, studded with chew-holes, flip out notes and booklets that will mesmerize fingers big and small, wrapping up with a pop-up ending that will truly blow your mind.

It follows the resultant problem experienced by two rabbits who meet and fall in love and decide to start a family. It all starts out sensibly with the birth of twins Alfalfa and Angora in March, another set of twins in April, two more sets in May, three more in June... you get the picture.

But too many babies is not the rabbits’ only problem. There’s teeming rain, a carrot shortage, a plague of crows, a too-hot summer, carotene-fuelled weight issues and the inevitable overcrowding that threatens their fieldly home.

How will the rabbits solve their problem?

This delightful, hilarious, kooky, witty, extraordinarily detailed pleasure-fest is taken right over the edge into children’s book nirvana with Gravett’s absolutely luscious artistic license. There’s probably no adjective that adequately pegs her style other than ‘Gravettesque’. I guess you have to witness her work to totally appreciate its style, but suffice to say it’s beautiful, funny, enchanting, heart warming and supremely entertaining.

Punctuated with scribbles, stamps, note-taking and retro graphics providing a nod to a whimsical past, you won’t regret buying this book and nibbling through every delicious page. Spoil yourself now. Or the kids.

Title: The Rabbit Problem
Author: Emily Gravett
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, A$29.99RRP
Publication date: 01/10/09
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780230704237
For ages: 4 – 10
Type: Picture Book