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

Tuesday 23 October 2018

The Rabbit, The Dark and the Biscuit Tin

In The Rabbit, The Dark and the Biscuit Tin, by multi-award-winning author and illustrator Nicola O’Byrne, Rabbit does not want to go to bed and nothing, it seems, will sway his determined stance on this matter. Motivated by his strong desire to avoid bed at all costs, Rabbit comes up with a simple plan; he will kidnap The Dark.

When Rabbit succeeds in trapping the polite and patient character of The Dark, he is highly satisfied with his own achievement, but, as the story progresses, Rabbit begins to look beyond himself and slowly realises the importance of The Dark and the needs of those who rely upon it.

O’Byrne’s words and illustrations work seamlessly together to provide a multi-layered story.

On one layer, this is a humorous, imaginative tale of a clever rabbit with a tricky plan to avoid going to bed. On a deeper note, O’Byrne demonstrates the emotional journey taken by Rabbit; a journey shared by many children as they grow and develop.  At first, Rabbit is only interested in his own desires, and is annoyed by the contrary requests of others, until he begins to see the effects of his choice to kidnap The Dark. When Rabbit finally questions his actions and makes a different choice, there is genuine delight in his face, not just for himself, as he witnesses the wonder of The Dark, but for the positive impact upon others.

Rabbit displays emotions shared by many children, including the longing to stay awake, the predominant self-focus and the innocent naivety of one who has not yet begun to fully recognise the needs of others or the importance of all elements of a day. The older child may also ask questions about how The Dark was so easily lured and kidnapped by Rabbit, providing an additional element for discussion.

This book reflects the importance of the nocturnal hours in nature. In some ways, the star of this book is The Dark, featuring in glimpses on the front cover, on the shooting-star filled end-pages and with its own wonderful reveal in a pop-up. The Dark is a gentle character, who is not portrayed as frightening, but as an essential, exciting and majestic part of life.

Title: The Rabbit, The Dark and the Biscuit Tin
Author/Illustrator: Nicola O'Byrne
Publisher: Nosy Crow, $24.99
Publication Date: 26 September 2018
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781788002714
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book