In a story full of twists and turns a princess who is loved and cherished by everyone spends all her time caring for her 752 rabbits.
One day, one of them escapes and the princess is broken hearted. She sets out on a mission to find her lost rabbit... but things don't always go to plan.
This award-winning book was a bestseller in Canada where it was first published in French.
Working in a children's bookshop, I see so many different book styles and covers every week, this one though caught my eye as the illustrations are quite different to a lot of what is on offer. The plot is very easy to follow, as the young princess looses one of her beloved rabbits and ponders over what she should do about this one missing rabbit. The illustrator has gone for simple backgrounds, so the only faces we see are of the princess and the four people she interacts with, added to this there are a couple of pages featuring rabbits and they are all slightly different which was nice to see.
Getting to the end of the book, it felt rather abrupt and definitely not how one expected the book to end, no swashbuckling adventures or dangerous opponents to battle but after rereading it a few times it fit well enough with the book as a whole. Of the ending, my youngest said she loves it and likes the acceptance, my eleven year old who sat and listened gave me a 'what the heck' expression and then laughed. I like that this is quite different to a lot of books that are on offer and that will help it stand out both in imagery and storyline. I don't see this becoming a family favourite, but it will be lovely to grab off the shelf now and then to look through.
752 rabbits is a story about a princess who cares for 752 rabbits until on one day one of the rabbits runs off and the princess is beside herself having to figure out what she should do. We read through this story with our children and they loved it and laughed at some of the uncanny illustrations which are absolutely amazing with their details and all of the emotions the faces portrait throughout. The colouring in the illustrations has a somewhat gloomy feel to them which happens to be so fitting to the story being told and adds a great appeal to the book.
Without giving away any spoilers the ending was very surprising and makes you consider if there is a deeper meaning to it and is kind of left up to the reader's discretion on what could happen next and I love the fact that you could interpret the ending yourself. I could see the kids going over it in there head trying to piece together did that really happen. It is good having these types of stories for kids as it gets them thinking and leads to a healthy discussion on not everything is as cracked up as you could have thought and things don't always go the way you may predict.
This is a very cool book and I'm glad we got to read it and share with our children. There is even a character in the story that looks identical to my cousin so I sent him a photo of it and he laughed at how uncanny it was. I recommend this book to anyone that has young children and likes a story that provokes having to question certain elements of the story. This is one of the better children's books I have read in recent times and my children definitely love it too.
This is a beautifully illustrated production - it reminded me of some of the French children's books I grew up with, given its emphasis on muted colours and stylised images. I always loved reading these books, so different from the brash colours or angular outlines of the English language books that were also part of my childhood. The illustrator, Valerie Boivin, has included so much detail in the pictures that a small child can figure out the story even without the help of the text.
This was the case with Miss Two, already a confirmed book lover, who had no difficulty in following the story on her own terms simply by looking at the graphics. She was able to follow much of the text with parental help, but the pictures were what drew her attention - especially those of the "bunnies" as these are among her favourite animals. As she gets older and the book is read and re-read, she will become more and more aware of the text. What a great way to learn to read!
The hobby horses caused initial confusion, and then laughter as Miss Two realised what they were. Admittedly, the three lords on their horses looked incredibly silly: they amused me, and caused her parents to laugh as well. As for their advice about the way to make the best of things, having a nice warm bath and drinking a big glass of lemonade seemed a little bizarre although Miss Two thought it was acceptable. (However, her parents were not so impressed by the idea of taking a book into the bath - with a two-year-old, it is easy to imagine just where the book might end up!)
Miss Two was suitably sad when the princess started to cry, and uttered a sympathetic "Awww" when she realised how unhappy she was. After she had listened to the advice of all three lords, the princess had cheered up somewhat; this made Miss Two relieved as she understood just how much the princess loved her rabbits. She was excited when the old lady offered to help the princess and thought the old lady was being extremely nice.
Given all that had gone before, the Zen-like ending came as a surprise to all of us. We had expected giants to be challenged and mountains to be climbed; instead, the book almost fizzled out at the end. What actually happened was totally unexpected. I admit to being a little shocked by it and tried to work out whether it was meant to be funny or just true to life. Miss Two's parents' reactions were similar to mine. But Miss Two, in the manner of two-year-olds everywhere, just accepted it. Possibly, as she gets older, she might change her mind.
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