- Title: The Rabbits
- Author: John Marsden
- Art: Shaun Tan
- Publisher: Hodder
- ISBN: 9780734411365
The rabbits came many grandparents ago.
They built houses, made roads, had children.
They cut down trees.
A whole continent of rabbits…
THE RABBITS offers a rich and immensely valuable perspective on the effect of man on his environment. Visually loaded and told with a passion for truth and understanding, THE RABBITS aims to promote cultural awareness and a sense of caring for the natural world.
An allegorical tale about colonisation, told from the point of view of the native animals. We see their initial curiosity, darken into bewilderment and, then fear at what the future holds, as the rabbits, just keep on coming. With both the authors being Australian, you can’t help but link it with the European colonisation in the 1700s and the accompanying introduction of Rabbits a previously alien species, into the continent. However it could just as easily be applied to any, country that has been colonised.
Sparsely told, just like, The Red Tree, it allows the reader, to make the links, and decide on the ultimate meanings contained within. It could be taken as a simple tale from an alternative point-of-view, but it could also open up discussions and questions as complex as the reader wants.
You know what, I’d be happy to buy a Shaun Tann book just for the fabulous artwork that you know you’d find within. But you also know, you’re going to get a tale, with or without text, that’ll move you. Challenge you. And most certainly make you think.
Throw in John Marsden’s writing, as you can with this one, then you know you’ll have a thing of beauty, even before you open it to the first page.