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

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Review: Rabbit's Hop

AFL football star Alex Rance is back with another book, following the success in 2018 of his first children’s title, Tiger’s Roar. The messages here are of kindness, empowerment and always doing the best you can.

Yellow and black covers (Richmond colours of course!) open to exquisite images by award-winning illustrator Shane McG of the characters in the book on a double spread. 

Work hard, be kind and enjoy yourself is the message Rance sends to his readers before he starts the story.

The main character Jack Rabbit lives on Rabbit Island. He has won prizes for best hopper, best chomper and second-best zig-zagger. All the little rabbits aspired to be like Jack.  But Jack wanted more from life.

A note comes in a bottle from Jack’s cousin Roo offering him the opportunity to challenge himself and travel to Big Island. Jack feels afraid. He is safe in his familiar surroundings doing what he does best. Zigga Rabbit reminds him of his words to the little rabbits.

The waves are the biggest he has ever had to jump over. Work hard! He closed his eyes and concentrated. Over he went!

As he began to swim toward Big Island, he found a stranded whale caught in a net. Be kind! he remembered, and imagined the ropes as carrots. He chomped hard and fast.

When the whale was free, he offered to swim Jack across the waters in return for his life-saving kindness. But when Big Island came into view, Jack was afraid. Work hard, be kind and enjoy yourself he shouted the words as he leapt through the air to land. They were overheard by Tiger, who was there when Jack landed, and who liked the idea. Could this be the start of something wonderful and new for Jack?

The characters leap across the pages in joy and abandon. They carry positive messages that will reverberate in children’s minds. The short sharp words will easily be picked up and repeated. This is the kind of book that kids need to learn courage and persistence from.

 Title: Rabbit’s Hop
Author: Alex Rance
Illustrator: Shane McG
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 17 June 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760524449
For ages: 5 - 8
Type: Picture Book