1.26.2011

The Rabbit Problem written and illustrated by Emily Gravett


I have mentioned Emily Gravett's picture books often on my blog (she's made my Best Picture Books list every year) but I have yet to feature her in her own post. While all of her books warrant their own reviews, The Rabbit Problem definitely leaps off the page.  Taking the Fibonacci sequence as a jumping off point, Gravett uses a rabbit  and a calendar (the book even has actual HOLES in the covers and pages, just like a real calendar) to demonstrate how the problem plays out. One rabbit in January turns into two rabbits in February, four rabbits in March, ten in May, and so on. Each calendar page illustrates a different dilemma faced by the rabbits.  From a lonely heart in January to a heat problem in August (met with delicious carrot popsicles, a nice use for an over abundance of carrots from an earlier month.) By October there are 55 pairs of rabbits and things in Fibonacci Field are getting pretty crazy.  


While there is not a traditional narrative to this story - it's more of a scrapbook version of a life story - there is plenty of information about these rabbits with each month featuring a different problem. Almost every page has some kind of booklet to peruse, whether it's a baby's first year book, a knitting guide, a cookbook or the Fibonacci's Field newspaper. As always, Gravett's illustrations are gorgeous. Every other book or so (Meerkat Mail, Little Mouse's Book of Fears, Spells) she employs some wonderful collages that give her books a layered, 3D feel which makes The Rabbit Problem even richer. Add to that notations on the calendar pages by Lonely and Chalk, the two original rabbits, and the book is more than anyone can consume in one sitting. Definitely different and very unique.  

Children with a bit of reading skill will get the most out of this book, although gentle readers who love pictures and details will be entranced by The Rabbit Problem as well, I'm sure. As the review at the British site Bookbag said, even if you have no plans to buy this book, it is worth a trip to the bookstore or library to page through it. If you can't make that trip or can't find it, enjoy the illustrations below!

Emily Gravett's other books...


Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett: Book CoverSpells by Emily Gravett: Book Cover

Dogs by Emily Gravett: Book CoverMeerkat Mail by Emily Gravett: Book CoverMonkey and Me by Emily Gravett: Book Cover
The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett: Book CoverOrange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett: Book CoverWolves by Emily Gravett: Book Cover


Sadly, Cave Baby, written by the wonderful Julia Donaldson (The Giants and the Joneses, Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child) and illustrated by Emily Gravett, is not available in the US - yet!!!



















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