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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Rabbit enjoys doing rabbity things, but he also loves un-rabbity things! When Rabbit suddenly disappears, no one knows where he has gone. His friends are desolate. But, as it turns out, Rabbit has left behind some very special gifts for them, to help them discover their own unrabbity talents!

This is a stunning debut picture book by author/illustrator Jo Empson. Rabbityness
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 15th 2012 by Child's Play International
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As far as kids picture books go, this is probably the oddest one I've met so far... but also the most beautiful.

Most kids books are light and fun - playful - which makes sense.

Rabbityness ... has a very mature edge to it.

The story is about a rabbit who likes to do rabbity things (burrowing, eating, etc). He also likes doing un-rabbity things (art and music). The other rabbits love him for these unrabbity things, because he fills the woods with sound and colour.

Then one day... rabbit is gone. And
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Destinee Sutton
A simple, short story about a rabbit who enjoys "unrabbity" things like painting and music. When this special rabbit disappears, the other rabbits are sad, but they find that he has left them paints and instruments and they take up unrabbity hobbies themselves.

The art explodes off the page with energy and joy. I'm sure kids will wonder what happened to the extraordinary rabbit. Did he die or just go away? This ambiguity aside, the story proffers a hopeful message to those who have experienced t
I think the front cover possibly undersells the contents. The art is pretty magical.

The themes of loss, self-discovery and inheritance are all well evoked in the story line... but where is Rabbit? Did he die? Why don't the other rabbits know? Did he leave them, to spread culture to other warrens?

I reckon the lack of answer to those questions is going to bother me for some time.
Ariel Cummins
This book is a really interesting spin on the whole liking-something-different-but-that-makes-everybody-else-like-it-too-eventually trope (seriously guys, that's an official trope. I saw it on, um, the internet). Rabbit likes doing normal rabbit things, like jumping. But he also loves all kinds of other non-rabbity things. Like painting and making music! All the other rabbits love this about him. When Rabbit disappears mid-book, the other rabbits are sad. Eventually, though, they realize that th ...more
Edward Sullivan
A lovely, affecting story about loss and longevity.
But...where did rabbit go?

This was a fun picture book for children - it kept me interested ;) Full of colour.

It would have been fun as a pop-up book (or having tabs to make rabbit move) in sections as we have rabbit enjoying hopping and other rabbity things before moving onto painting and music.

Loved the illustrations more than the story.
Uttam Singh
I am in love with the illustrations in this book - extremely eye-catching and able to get the attention of even the most easily distracted children.

It is a very simple story of a special rabbit who is much like other rabbits in that he enjoys doing 'rabbity' things like hopping and eating, yet what makes him unique is his love for many wonderful 'unrabbity' things like painting and making music.
One day rabbit 'goes away', and leaves the rest of the rabbits and all of the wood feeling sad. Howev
Kimberly Walton Mayden
This unique picture book by debut author, Jo Empson, focuses on individuality, creativity and loss. The story begins with silhouettes of a black rabbit partaking in “rabbity” activities such as hopping, sleeping and burrowing. Next, the pages come alive with color as rabbit starts doing some “unrabbity” things such as painting and making music.

Suddenly, the rabbit disappears into a “deep dark hole” and does not return. This may be confusing to some children, but can serve as a teachable moment f
LH Johnson
I have several children's literature reading lists on my blog, one of which is titles which feature bereavement / grieving / loss. You can view the actual list here (and it's crowd-editable, so please feel free to add to it!). One of the titles which often crops up in talk of titles of this nature is Rabbityness.

And last night I read it and I tweeted this: "So I just read 'Rabbityness' by Jo Empson. Dear sweet God. *bawls at everything* *eats all the chocolate* *bawls some more* (It's amazing)"
Katy Mcnab
This picture book is a beautifully positive introduction to loss. The story explores an array of ideas, celebrating uniqueness and special relationships. The story makes way for wonderful discussions about how we value one another and what makes us special, as well as equipping children with ways to deal with loss of any kind. The vibrant and evocative illustrations draw the reader into the emotions of the story.

This is a wonderful story for children and grown-ups of any age!
In life, they are leaders and there are followers. Rabbit did the common everyday stuff a rabbit like him would and then he would follow pursuit with stuff he loved to do. He was the life of the party until one day he disappears with a trace. The rest of the rabbits were depressed and grieving the loss of their friend. What once was full of life and color, is now dreary, dark, and gray. However, Rabbit left his friends a legacy and that was a deep, dark hole. The other rabbits went down the deep ...more
Christine Turner
Rabbit enjoys doing rabbity things, but he also loves un-rabbity things! When Rabbit suddenly disappears, no one knows where he has gone. His friends are desolate. But, as it turns out, Rabbit has left behind some very special gifts for them, to help them discover their own unrabbity talents! This is a stunning debut picture book by author/illustrator Jo Empson. Rabbityness celebrates individuality,encourages the creativity in everyone and positively introduces children to dealing with loss of a ...more
Glorious pictures. Was not expecting the sudden theme of loss, but it worked for this simple-yet-complex story.
Simple story, but sometimes simple is all you need when you have a clear message. Beautiful artwork.
I was digging the art and expression of the rabbit. Then it's gone. What happened? It left a legacy. Odd.
Tracy Morton
Good for rabbit, art or being different storytimes.
First this book starts with the things that Rabbit liked to do, such as hopping, jumping, twirling his whiskers, washing his ears so on and so forth. But come to find out Rabbit also like to paint and he liked to make music. These things made Rabbit very happy. But in his attempt be happy he realized all the other rabbits were sad because they couldn't find him anywhere. The woods were quiet and gray but then they found the gifts rabbit had left them.

This book has a good use of color and is grea
Abby Turner
Interesting book abt death.
on the subject of death...
Haworth Library
An adorable, fun rabbity book about a rabbit who sometimes enjoys doing unrabbity things like, painting and playing music! This little rabbit inspires other rabbits of the forest to take a chance and do something that's least expected of them!

True story: While Miss Kerri was reading in her backyard one summer, a baby rabbit hopped up to her then sniffed and tickled her toes with its whiskers! When she laughed, the little rabbit hopped away and did a twisting flip into the air! Rabbits like to da
Kathleen Behrendt
This beautiful, simple picture book explores loss in a way young children can understand. Rabbit, who enjoys life to the fullest by singing and dancing, suddenly disappears one day with no explanation. The other rabbits are so filled with grief that they sink into a deep, dark hole. When they realize Rabbit left them some gifts, they feel better and heal.

Recommend this to children in preschool and up. It would be a good book to use when a young child experiences a loss of any kind.
Enka-Candler Library
An exceptional picture book dealing with loss and remembrance. Empson's prose also explores being unique and creative. A magnificent read and a great jumping-off point to talk about indepedence and grief.

As if all of the above weren't enough, Empson's illustrations, so electric, look ready to leap from each spread. Absolutely lovely use of design and color.

Highly recommended. Especially for little ones dealing with death or loss of a loved one.

Age: K+
Art: Painting, music
Tough issue: Death

A unique representation of the impact one animal (or person) can have on a group of friends and family. The contrast between rabbit habits and unrabbityness was enjoyably striking and beautifully illustrated. Although the amount of words is suitable for a younger audience, the premise of the rabbit "disappearing" without closure (did he die?, did he just leave?) will be hard for younger children to understand.
Library Quine
This could be the perfect movement book (rabbit likes hopping, rabbit likes jumping). Then it starts to celebrate difference (painting and making music). Then it turns somewhat dark with the disappearance of rabbit and a celebration with the colourful and musical things he left behind - possibly about overcoming loss? I'm really not sure of the purpose of this book, but it is strangely compelling. The illustrations and colour however are enchanting.
WOW. First off, I think this is some of the best visual storytelling I've seen. Color, line, composition and shape depict emotion in a very real way here. Secondly, we have this cataloged as "rabbits" and "painting" but it's much more than that. I have tagged it "individualism," "loss," "separation," and even "death." What happens to Rabbit? I want more story to hang these unusual illustrations on, but maybe that would ruin the effect.
Marissa Garcia
Rabbit likes to do rabbity things, but he also enjoys many unrabbity things, and he's alternative pastimes change his friends forever.

Bursting with color and sophistication, this book is very special. Suggest to patrons who are looking for books with sophisticated text, whimsical illustration, or storytime featuring rabbits or individuality.
Hop through a musical forest...
Paint your way through the silent world...

And color it with your own vibrant soul!


Come to a beautifully implicit understanding of loss, death, memory, and love.

Affect the WORLD- and LET it affect YOU.
Michal Hope
LOVE! If you are a supporter of the arts or an artist yourself, this book is for you! The images of rabbit go from plain to just plain awesome as he spreads his love of music and color to his world and his friends, even when he's gone. I can see myself reading this to middle schoolers as well as elementary, for the message. Enjoy!
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