The Rabbit Listened

Taylor has worked hard on building something special, an amazing structure built out of blocks. He stands back and admires it proudly when, out of nowhere, a flock of crows fly by and cause it to crash to the ground.

One by one the animal friends come by offering solutions, let’s talk about it, laugh about it, get mad, get even …. But Taylor doesn’t feel like doing any of these things and one by one everybody leaves him alone by himself. Then, very quietly, the rabbit arrives moving closer and closer, saying nothing but silently offering warmth and comfort.

This is a beautiful book and the story of loss is told with tenderness both through words and images. The illustrations while sweet are also powerful and expressive.

The child is often overshadowed by the scale of the solution and the use of white space in contrast to the tiny figure conveys sadness and isolation.

The felling of the blocks can be a metaphor for any kind of loss. It is also a reminder that even the smallest loss to an adult can be devastating for young children with big emotions.

Cori Doerrfield reminds us of the need to meet the child’s sense of loss and range of reactions with understanding. She shows us how empathy can help comfort the heartache that comes with big and small losses without ever moralising in this poignant and wise tale.