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THE RABBITS by John Marsden


by John Marsden & illustrated by Shaun Tan

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-9688768-8-9
Publisher: Simply Read

In this terse, allegorical import, the arrival of technologically proficient “Rabbits” to a new land leads to warfare with indigenous residents, teeming cities, and devastation of the natural environment. Tan’s highly stylized illustrations sport barely recognizable rabbits in ornate, high-collared costume swarming over desert landscapes, erecting factories, carving away mountains and subduing spear-carrying, uncomprehending aborigines—cast as numbats—with cannon and sheer weight of numbers. Is there a lesson here? Duh. Any tale featuring rabbits will have resonance lost to readers on other continents, but the invasion’s ugly course has recognizable parallels everywhere. And rather than close with trite warnings or simplistic answers, Marsden offers only an anguished, thought-provoking question: “Who will save us from the Rabbits?” Who indeed. (Picture book. 8-10)