Skip to main content

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!!!


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…