The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan

If you have been a reader of my blog for .. oh.. about 5 minutes, you’d know that I luurrvv Shaun Tan. After the amazing Tales from Outer Suburbia and The Arrival, I have intended to go through all his back catalogue, even if that means I need to venture into the children’s section of my library, towering like a gigantic being among the little young uns’.

Shaun Tan’s books are classified as Picture Books, though according to him:

They are best described as ‘picture books for older readers’ rather than young children, as they deal with relatively complex visual styles and themes, including colonial imperialism, social apathy, the nature of memory and depression.

The Rabbits, written by John Marsden, is partly allegorical fable about colonisation, told from the viewpoint of the colonised. It features the weirdest looking rabbits I have ever seen. Like always, Tan’s illustrations left me breathless.

I’ll let you soak in the glory of Shaun Tan’s world.

4 stars
1998, 32 pp

Shaun Tan’s The Rabbits

First line
The rabbits came many grandparents ago.

1999 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year
1999 Spectrum Gold Award for Book Illustration
1999 Aurealis Conveners’ Award for Excellence

Aussie Author (book #2), Book Awards IV (book #6), Once Upon a Time IV (book #1)

Also reviewed by
Beth Fish Reads

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16 thoughts on “The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan”

    1. Mae, no I had never heard or read any John Marsden before this one, and to be honest I didn’t pick the book up because of him. Thanks for recommending the series. I had a quick look though and I’m not sure if it’s my kind of book. I tend to avoid war-themed books.

  1. I could stare at those pictures all night. I keep trying to figure out where their ears are, and if hte one is really wearing an enormous Napoleon-like hat.
    .-= [softdrink´s last blog: Books] =-.

    1. Great Michelle! Just last week I found a tiny book with the story of Eric (you’ll find Eric in Tales from Outer Suburbia). I think they republished that single story because it’s so popular. Let me know your favorite after you finish it! :)

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