The Black Rabbit (Philippa Leathers)

Hello, friends! Today, we read The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers, a story about a bunny who faces an unusual foe.

White Rabbit is being followed! It seems that no matter where he turns, a great black bunny appears right behind him! It follows him across the fields and through the river, always just behind. Finally, when he retreats into the deep, dark woods (where no light shines), the shadowy figure no longer appears. However, White rabbit is faced with a new threat: a terrifying wolf! How will he escape? 

This is sort of an odd book, but I liked it. The Black Rabbit is (and this is made quite obvious) White Rabbit’s shadow, which reappears when the wolf chases him out of the dark forest, scaring the wolf away. However, by the end of the book, Rabbit never seems to realize this: he skips off “hand-in-hand” with the Black Rabbit, now seeing the entity as his friend and protector. On the face of it, it seems like a simple, if offbeat, story in which little readers can laugh at the rabbit’s nervousness, plus a nice happy ending to leave things on a high note. The art is adorable and just the right side of creepy when the story calls for it, and it makes the characters very endearing. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed it okay. I think where I got stuck was the metaphor, if there is meant to be one. Does the shadow represent Rabbit’s inner strength, something he runs from until he needs it most, and it saves him? Is it about not judging based on appearance? Maybe I read to much into it, but it feels like there’s supposed to be a lesson, and I didn’t quite pick it up. Regardless, it was a fun read, and we’re calling it Baby Bookworm approved!

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