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The Black Rabbit

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
In this clever picture book, a debut author-illustrator introduces a plucky rabbit and the new companion that he just can’t shake.

Rabbit has a problem. There’s a large black rabbit chasing him. No matter where he runs — behind a tree, over the river — the shadowy rabbit follows. Finally in the deep, dark wood, Rabbit loses his nemesis — only to encounter a real foe! Kids w
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Emma I think you might be reading a little too much into this. The black rabbit is scary because it is the little rabbit's shadow and the rabbit hasn't…moreI think you might be reading a little too much into this. The black rabbit is scary because it is the little rabbit's shadow and the rabbit hasn't seen or been aware of his shadow before. I'm not really sure how one would accurately describe their own shadow without describing it as black.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

When you feel lost or scared in life, sometimes the best place to look for help or strength is right beside you.

Someone is following Rabbit. No matter how fast he runs or where he hides, Black Rabbit is always right behind him. Rabbit soon learns that having someone watch your back might not be such a bad thing after all though.

Simple, clean, clear illustrations bring this adventure to life. The soft, pale colors fill the chase with such warmth and focus. Our cute little rabbit hero looks so sm
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful new debut picture book by author/illustrator Phillippa Leathers. It begins with wonderful end pages that show a map which has a trail that leads us through the story. It would be a great way for kids to retell the story after hearing it a time or two.
The premise is that, as this adorable little white rabbit emerges from his burrow on a sunny day, he is frightened by an enormous black rabbit. Not knowing it is simply his shadow, he tries to run from it, hide from it and swim
Jun 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Perhaps it's just because I'm taking a class on multicultural children's literature and we are encouraged to read all books multiculturally, but this book made me uncomfortable. First of all, the white rabbit is scared of a black rabbit. Yes, yes, it's his shadow but - really? Have we not had enough Trayvon Martin incidents in the news? In the end, even the Fox is scared of the "large and imposing" black rabbit. Yikes. No thank you to sharing this book with young impressionable children, althoug ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The little white rabbit suddenly discovers that he is being shadowed by a big, dark, shady rabbit. He wanders all over trying to shake his tail. No luck until he enters the dark forest, but then he's confronted with a more immediate threat.

Bunny survives and isn't even mangled a little. Not a good choice for anyone teaching a preschooler about stranger danger.

Library copy
Pretty adorable book about making an unexpected friend with someone/something that used to be scary.
Reviewed at:

3.5... I keep going back between a 3 and a 4. It is a 3 for me for some reasons and a 4 for others. I really like the ending of the book as I think it is actually quite symbolic (though I wish the rabbit learned the truth). I also enjoyed the chase that took place throughout the book and I think that it would be a great book to read aloud and discuss with children. Okay... talked myself into a 4 :)

When I first read the book, it seemed simple,
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We picked this one up from the library as part of an attempt to help DD get over her fear of shadows. She loves this book asking to read it over and over, and I think it's helping! She's still afraid, but now wants to wave and say hi to her shadow. Progress! Super cute, great read aloud for toddlers.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 2 - 6 year olds
A very well crafted book. It suppose it could have been inspired by Bear Shadow, with which it has many similarities, but the surprise ending is clever and transmits a message.
Benji Martin
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is a good one for storytime, but only if you can put up with lots of kids yelling "IT'S HIS SHADOW!!!" The ENTIRE time. Oh man. SHould I have put this under a spoilers tag thingy?
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-w-kids
Little e recently discovered her own shadow, so we had a lot of fun reading this tale about a little rabbit who notices his shadow for the first time.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Perfect for my shadow storytime this week :)
Jasmine Stocker
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Very cute book about shadows. The author/illustrator does a fantastic job in her illustrations with incorporating the four elements of art. I enjoyed this cute little book because in the end the rabbit and his shadow are now friends and the black rabbit (his shadow) helped his scare off the wolf that was trying to eat him. Happy endings are my favorite.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime
Rabbit is scared of the big black rabbit he can't outrun. (cough his shadow cough). After a run in with a wolf, Rabbit realizes black rabbit has his back. A super fun book for a rabbit or shadow story time.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A very fun picture book! Children will guess the identity of the black rabbit long before the poor hero knows what's going on. I love how something frightening becomes the very thing that saves the day. Very engaging illustrations!
Rachel Smith
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was really cute and funny. I feel like this is a book that kids would be yelling out that it's his shadow and super excited.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rabbit has someone following him, and is very afraid. But is Black Rabbit really mean? I liked the premise of the book, and the illustrations are very good.
Baby Bookworm
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Today, we read The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers, a story about a bunny who faces an unusual foe.

White Rabbit is being followed! It seems that no matter where he turns, a great black bunny appears right behind him! It follows him across the fields and through the river, always just behind. Finally, when he retreats into the deep, dark woods (where no light shines), the shado
Lovey Dovey Books
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Philippa Leathers's debut children's book is quite the curious read. The Black Rabbit is a tale of Rabbit who believes he's being followed by a scary black rabbit. Rabbit is indeed afraid of his own shadow, but the catch of the story is that he never realizes that it's his shadow.

The Black Rabbit is show of true imagination and humor. There will definitely be a divide between readers of this story. Younger readers will find no fault with Rabbit being afraid of his shadow, seeing it as the myster
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A simple story about a rabbit that doesn't understand his shadow is not another rabbit. And it kind of freaks him out, until he hides in a shady spot. Eventually it saves him from a wolf. The pictures are SUPER cute, and way cool.
Sharon Tyler
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers is a picturebook that follows one white rabbit with a problem. No matter where he goes, a black rabbit follows him. It is only when the rabbit enters the dark wood that his mysterious companion disappears, but he also finds a much more threatening foe. Thankfully, when the black rabbit reappears he is more friend than foe.

Black Rabbit is a fun story about discovery and friendship. While it might be obvious to readers of all ages that the black rabbit is really j
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Is it way too hypersensitive to say that The Black Rabbit is kinda racist? Because listen to the plot: a cute little (white) rabbit is hopping along, minding his own business, when he notices that he's being *followed* by a large, scary *black* rabbit! Ok, so we as the audience can tell that it's his shadow, but Rabbit is genuinely scared. No matter where he runs, the black rabbit is following him. Then he encounters a real foe, and the black rabbit scares it away! So basically, the black rabbit ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rabbit wakes one day to a beautiful sunny sky and steps outside only to realize he’s being followed everywhere he goes, by a big black rabbit. Rabbit is very afraid and runs, trying to get away from the scary big black rabbit, but everywhere he goes, the big black rabbit is right behind. He tries everything he can, hiding, swimming and finally running into the woods where an even scarier wolf waits. Rabbit has little choice but to turn and run in the direction of the big black rabbit, which just ...more
May 04, 2013 added it
Little Rabbit is scared. A large black rabbit is following him everywhere and won't leave him alone. Why is rabbit being followed? Why won't he go away?

"The Black Rabbit" is appropriate for ages 3+.

This book is so cute. Rabbit is scared of the Black Rabbit (his shadow) and can not seem to get rid of him, no matter where he goes. The only way rabbit is able to escape the Black Rabbit is to run into the deep, dark wood.

I would not recommend this book to anyone over the age of 4. I think the char
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I feel like the story of this rabbit racing away from his own shadow is filled with symbolism... but I enjoyed it because it was a rather humorous quick read.

Rabbit has a serious problem, he wakes up one day, steps out of his burrow and notices Black Rabbit is right behind him. Black rabbit follows him everywhere, Rabbit can't seem to get rid of Black Rabbit. Black Rabbit is really freaking Rabbit out. The only way he seems to get rid of Black Rabbit is in the forest. As Rabbit is enjoying a carrot, a wolf chases Rabbit out of the forest. Thankfully, Black Rabbit is there to scare away Wolf. From then on Rabbit and Black Rabbit are inseparable. Wonde ...more
Green Bean
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This playfully spine-chilling knee-slapper could have been titled The Uncanny Cottontail-- there's something eerily familiar about the shady, zip-lipped, long-eared character following regular rabbit wher'ere he roams. As day stretches into evening Black Rabbit looms larger and larger. "What do you want," cries rabbit, trembling, "Why are you following me!?" Fleeing into the dark woods regular rabbit encounters a menace far more sinister than the cottontail on his tail--a big, BAD, HAIRY, wolf. ...more
Destiny Dawn Long
A fun play on the old trope of being scared of your shadow. In this re-imagining, Rabbit spends a great deal of time trying to lose the "Black Rabbit" who is following him everywhere. Eventually he does lose him in the Deep Dark Woods... only to be confronted with a real foe.

While my daughter is too young to be "in" on the joke, she still enjoyed listening to the story and looking at the fabulous illustrations. Leathers uses ink and watercolor drawings to great effect. There are bright open sce
Mar 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Hmmm. As a few others pointed out the story is problematic. This picture book revolves around a tiny white rabbit terrified of a big scary black bunny following him around. Also (spoiler alert, I guess?) the white bunny befriends his shadow (bunny) only after it intimidates a big bad wolf through its immense size and blackness. Sounds...pretty racist. Especially since the author could have made the bunny any color - why not a brown or gray rabbit, or even a pink one, scared of it's own shadow? B ...more
Книжни Криле
„Черният заек” – леле, какво зловещо заглавие за детска книжка! Дали не звучи повече като филм на ужасите? И самият Зайо, малкият бял и пухкав главен герой в тази поучителна приказка, също е изплашен не на шега! Защото по петите му е един Голям Черен Заек!! И от него няма отърване! Не те настига, но не спира да те преследва! Е, мама и татко лесно ще се досетят какво се крие зад това страшилище, нали? Достатъчно е да се вгледате в корицата малко по-внимателно. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле:

Courtney Selch
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Leathers, P. (2013). The Black Rabbit. London: Candlewick Press.
• Summary: Rabbit is scared because a huge black rabbit seems to be following him everywhere he goes. Throughout the book Rabbit is trying to escape his shadowy antagonist. Until, Rabbit runs into to forest and encounters a wolf! Just when Rabbit thinks the wolf is going to gobble him down, the huge black rabbit scares the wolf away. Rabbit and his huge black rabbit partner are friends after all.
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Philippa Leathers studied graphic design, illustration, and animation, and currently works as a freelance animator and illustrator. The Black Rabbit is her first picture book, while her animation credits include work on the Charlie and Lola and Peppa Pig TV series. She lives in England with her family, a gray tabby cat named Emmi, and two rabbits named Benji and Kiki, who inspired her to write The ...more