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The Flat Rabbit

3.12  ·  Rating details ·  506 ratings  ·  158 reviews
When a dog and a rat come upon a rabbit flattened on the road in their neighborhood, they contemplate her situation, wondering what they should do to help her. They decide it can’t be much fun to lie there; she should be moved. But how? And to where? Finally, the dog comes up with an inspired and unique idea and they work together through the night to make it happen. Once ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Owlkids Books (first published 2011)
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3.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  506 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
The Flat Rabbit is a book about life and death. A dog and a rat come across a ex-rabbit in the road that they vaguely remember from the neighborhood. Their dilemma is deciding what to do with this now very flat rabbit. This children's book ponders the imponderables, without trying to provide trite and cheesy answers. I love a book that can proudly state "I don't know."
Oct 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
A Dog and a Rat find a neighbor who they recognize by sight but are not on speaking terms with, Rabbit, squashed flat in the road, fail to understand what her flatness means or what they should do about it and ultimately tie her to a kite and fly her corpse.

Looking at the five star reviews here, people seem to be divided on whether this was a gentle introduction to the idea of death and dying or irreverent humor that will go over kids heads to tickle adults. I’m not sure which of these it was a
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book's author is Scandinavian (from the Faroe Islands). When I discovered that, the book made much more sense. Tying a dead/'flattened' rabbit to a kite to fly in the sky is maybe not the first thing you would think to put in a children's book, but it's kind of funny. And kind of sad.

It's probably not a book I would buy for my future children, though. I'm not sure what questions it would illicit, but I don't want to answer them.
Jul 14, 2014 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
Judge me if you will, but I'm just going to come out and say it —
THE FLAT RABBIT was my favorite picturebook of 2014.

Is it morbid? Morbidly funny? Maybe. I mostly found it incredibly honest and touching. Think THE DEAD BIRD (by Margaret Wise Brown and Remy Charlip), only much more subtle, and with a sense of humor. I actually got teary when I finished this book — did anyone else react this way?
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I really felt like I was missing some pages or that I wasn't getting it at the end of this picture book. I understand that it could be about dealing with loss in a twisted sort of way, and after reading it I'm not entirely sure it's meant to be a kids book. I did like the art and would like to see more from Oskarsson. But I'm really not sure I understood this particular book.
Emi Bevacqua
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile
I thought this book would help my 7 year old twins process the loss of their neighbor friend, a victim of pediatric brain cancer, but no. While we all loved the adorable illustrations, and found the story to be somewhat interesting and cute in spite of the subject being a dog and rat finding an acquaintance flattened in the road... in the end I feel it is perhaps a bit pointless.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
If you ever chance upon a dead body in the road you will be faced with the dilemma of what to do with it. Dog and rat settled on, attach the corpse to a kite and fly it after deliberation such as, “What if somebody found her and ate her?” and “I've never talked to her, but I peed on the gate a couple of times, so we’ve definitely met.” Instant classic.

Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
So, what do you do when you're at work and someone says "read this right now." Well, you read it right now. What a bizarre little book about dealing with loss, or was this about dealing with death? Because I'm not sure that dealing with loss was actually addressed. For that matter I'm not sure the characters were really dealing with death either. There are some really funny moments, but they seemed to have nothing to do with the major theme, but had to do with the awkward relationships of talkin ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
This is one of the oddest books I’ve ever read. It is kind of dark and weirdly a bit funny, which is usually right up my alley, but I couldn’t quite get which way the author intended it to be read. My son laughed at a couple parts since, I mean, they tape a dead rabbit to a kite and fly it, but my daughter said, “That was just weird.” Spot on review, daughter.
Carrie Charley Brown
When I first pick up a book, I try to look upon it with child-like eyes and I jump right in. The whimsical, cartoon illustrations of The Flat Rabbit caught my eye first and made me relate to the characters on a cartoon level. In cartoons, take The Road Runner or Tom and Jerry, as an example- What happens if one of them gets flattened by a falling rock? They pop right back to normal. Because my brain was already in this frame of mind, I kept expecting the same to happen in The Flat Rabbit and the ...more
There are still a lot of adult readers who feel uncomfortable with children reading about death, especially when it's dealt with in such a matter-of-fact manner. But I believe that to shy away from something that we are all interested in and intrigued by at some point on our lives is missing a chance of empowering children to understand and question a subject that is hushed and considered taboo.
Oskarsson's, a writer from the Faroes, wonderful book explores the ritual that comes with trying to b
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit, picture-book
I'm not sure how I feel after reading this book and maybe that's the point. It deals with difficult issues like death and loss and the practical matters of what happens next, but it's so subtle and quirky and irreverent and PECULIAR. I agree with those who say that it's not necessarily a book I'd give a small child who had just lost a pet or loved one to help them come to terms with death, and I'm not sure I know how to categorize it in my mind...but I don't think it's necessary to know exactly ...more
Sep 17, 2014 rated it liked it
It's morbidly funny, and I like the cartoonish illustrations. Be warned, though: THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN'S DEATH AND DYING BOOK. I saw it in a store as one recently, and just... no. If you've had a death in the family, or one of your pets is dying, do not use this as a helpful explanation book.
Edward  Bartone
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
A picture book that made me laugh right out loud. A lot.
Akemi G.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-fiction, kid-lit
Another children's book about death. Hmm ... the title is pretty crude and direct, isn't it? And the content matches that title; little emotions, some attempted humor, with cutie pictures.

The problem is that this type of humor backfires in a situation like facing loved one's death. Or even a stranger's death. I wouldn't be surprised if a grieving child would totally get upset upon receiving this book.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I’m all for slightly strange stories for kids, but this one left me a little sick to my stomach... thanks Kate.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was super weird and I think I missed the point.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is all kinds of messed up
Apr 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books, 2015

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When I finished reading this to my 6-year-old, he said, "What? That's the end?" And then didn't believe me and read it himself to make sure I hadn't left anything out.

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Maybe something was lost in translation, but I'm not sure if this is supposed to be darkly humorous or an existential contemplation of death. I think that kids young enough to read picture books aren't going to get it, and kids old enough to get this don't usually read picture books.
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Flat Rabbit

A cute little dog
And his friend that's a rat,
Find a motionless rabbit,
On the road lying flat.

Compassion kicks in
Oh what should be done?
They can't leave her there
Lying still in the sun.

They converse and they puzzle,
An idea they create,
They work through the night
Deciding her fate.

They carefully scrape up
The rabbit's remains
And attach her still body
To a kite's wooden frame.

They rescue the rabbit
And treat her with love,
They fly her kite high
O're the city above.

"The Flat Rabbit" is ge
Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who want to face life and death honestly, boldly, and simply
This is a weird, sweet, irreverent book about dead bodies, in this case a dead rabbit. It might not be the right book for a super-sensitive child who cries after seeing an animal who has been run over in the street, and it is maybe better read in isolation of such a witnessed sight, but, then again, the book presents a sort of helpful mental processing and understanding of what it means to witness someone or something no longer alive. The living being who once inhabited the dead body is acknowle ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Um....I have a sick and twisted sense of humor. I do. There are moments here. But over all this isn't one to share with a sensitive child. I don't think it's a great "death and dying book" to share. I don't think a final solution for a dead loved one or even a causal acquaintance is to tape them up to a kite and let them float. A little too macabre there. Again, you can probably read irreverent humor or sad compassion or whatever. I was just disturbed.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Hmm. I am not quite sure what to think. I really liked the illustrations. The story is both tender and perplexing. Two friends find a smooshed acquaintance on the street. They handle the flattened deceased with tenderness and respect, then decide on a plan of action that is far from traditional. The end will leave readers wondering "What?"

Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I wouldn't use it for storytime, but I think adults might find it funny.
Oct 25, 2014 added it
Shelves: picture-books
I don't know what say, really. I think it is interesting, and possibly great, but not really great for children.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
The illustrations are fun, but I was disturbed by the premise for the book--a rat and a dog trying to decide what to do with the carcass of their dead neighbor.
Cassandra Gelvin
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh, go fly a... rabbit?

A dog and a rat come across a rabbit which has apparently been squashed by a car. It's completely flat and also presumably dead, which is completely skipped over. Nobody even mentions death in the book. They look at her for a while and then think that she looks kind of sad all by herself and so they pick her up and take her home. They then attach her to a kite, and the next day they fly her, on the kite, up into the air. The dog then asks the rat if he wants to go up on th
Lauren Kell
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Like many other reviewers, I'm not entirely sure what to do with this book. Flying the flat rabbit on a kite and asking "do you think she's having a good time?" with the stark answer "I don't know" certainly seems like a metaphor for the afterlife and the fact that we just don't know what happens after we die, but it's such a bizarre one. The author (and translator) are both Faroese so I'm left wondering if this is a cultural disconnect but I'm not sure where to even start trying to figure that ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the elevated humor within this book and found it to be a unique attribute within a children's book. I would categorize this book within the fantasy realm because it includes talking animals and make-believe. Personally, I do not know if I would buy this book because I would have no clue how to teach this within a classroom, but overall it was a fun read.
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Children's books on death 1 2 May 28, 2015 01:10PM  

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Bárður Oskarsson is a Faroese children's writer, illustrator and artist, who has won several literary awards. His books have been translated into English, French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Czech amongst others.