• NZ Booklovers

Rabbit’s Hop by Alex Rance

Jack Rabbit loved Rabbit Island. He loved his friends, family, and all the little rabbits. He loved being the best at hopping and jumping and (almost the best) at zigzagging.

But Jack Rabbit was restless. So when his cousin Roo invites him to Big Island, he’s very excited – and a little bit scared. Can he overcome all the challenges and get to Big Island and be the best rabbit he can be?

Featuring one of the key characters from the bestselling Tiger’s Roar, Rabbit’s Hop lets little readers in on how a rabbit made it all the way to the jungle.

Author Alex Rance has created Rabbit’s ‘origin story’, a celebration of recognising your strengths and weaknesses, being kind, encouraging others and enjoying friendships and sport. It seems like a lot of important messages to cram into a children’s book, but Rance does it simply and effortlessly.

The professional Australian rules footballer’s love of sport shines through in Rabbit’s Hop. In fact, the book and character of Jack Rabbit is based on Rance’s teammate Jack Riewoldt. He uses the character to show children it’s okay to not be the best at everything – kindness and determination are more important.

Illustrator Shane McG does a fantastic job of showing Jack Rabbit’s journey. With bold and bright pages, each spread is engaging. We especially loved that every rabbit was different – there are tall and short bunnies, bunnies of different sizes, shapes and colours, and each had their own unique talents.

McG plays with perspective in a fun way too. Rabbit Island is shown from the bird’s eye and from extreme close up. The double spread of Wave Bay is an absolute stunner.

Rabbit’s Hop is a sweet story told in a simple way. It is a delightful book that will inspire children of all ages.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Allen & Unwin, RRP $22.99