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The Rabbit Listened
Contributor(s): Doerrfeld, Cori
ISBN: 073522935X     ISBN-13: 9780735229358
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: February 2018
Annotation: A metaphorical tale of empathy and friendship follows the experiences of a small child who is offered well-intentioned advice from his animal friends in the wake of a loss but only finds comfort with the last animal, a rabbit who just quietly listens. By the creator of Little Bunny Foo Foo. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Listening; Fiction.
Rabbits; Fiction.
Animals; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Emotions & Feelings
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Rabbits
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Death & Dying
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2017008134
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 10.25" H x 10.25" W x 0.50" (0.60 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #3)
Young Taylor uses wooden blocks to build "something new. Something ?special. Something amazing." The child's pride is short-lived: a flock of crows flies through the scene and topples the structure. Taylor sits dejected and alone. Then a chicken appears, clucking with empathy and urging Taylor to "talk, talk, talk about it!" Expressive illustrations depict (gender unspecified) Taylor with closed-off body language, clearly not drawing comfort from the sympathetic but intrusive bird. Other animals arrive, one-by-one, making assumptions about Taylor's feelings and offering well-intended solutions that miss the mark: a bear assumes anger; a hyena tries to laugh it off; a kangaroo and joey try to throw the blocks away; a snake hisses, "Let'ssss go knock down someone else'ssss." Finally, a rabbit approaches and sits beside Taylor. There's silence until Taylor decides to talk, and then "the rabbit listened." The patient, compassionate presence of the rabbit allows Taylor to work through complex emotions without feeling rushed or pressured, culminating in a positive, hopeful ending. The blocks and crows, etc., are eminently metaphorical and in fact go unmentioned by the text. The bibliotherapeutic potential of this title ?is undeniable, but it never overwhelms the story and only contributes to this big-hearted picture book's success. megan dowd lambert Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 November #4)

It's something people of all ages struggle with: what's the best way to comfort someone? Taylor, a curly-haired boy in a striped onesie, is miserable after a flock of birds knocks down his amazing wooden-block tower. One by one, several animals approach him with strategies for feeling better. A bear advises rage ("Let's shout about it! Garrr! RARRR! GRAAAAR!"), and a snake suggests making someone else miserable ("Shhhhh. Let'ssss go knock down someone else'ssss"). Taylor refuses to be comforted in the ways the animals see fit, and they leave. Then along comes a rabbit who doesn't say a thing, but in its willingness to listen, persist, and be physically close ("It moved closer, and closer. Until Taylor could feel its warm body"), Taylor senses genuine concern and respect for his feelings. He opens up in all of the ways the animals previously suggested, but now it's on his terms—and then he's ready to build again. Each of Doerrfeld's highly distilled and elegantly concise vignettes brims with emotional honesty and profound empathy. The result is a story that's wise, funny, and easy to take to heart. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Feb.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 February)

PreS-K—Taylor is overcome with sadness when an impressive block construction crashes to the ground, and none of his animal friends' suggestions help. Each creature proposes an outlet: Chicken wants to talk about it, Bear surmises that Taylor is angry and offers to "shout about it," Hyena suggests laughing, and so on. Taylor doesn't feel like doing any of those things and remains in a funk. But when Rabbit cuddles in close and listens, the child finally lets loose. With sadness finally dispelled, Taylor can now envision beginning again to build something "amazing." The cartoon illustrations, digitally rendered with thick black outlines, depict a curly-haired moppet in striped pajamas. The animals appear in several vignettes as they submit their ideas. Taylor builds with rapt concentration, proudly admires the work, gasps in horror at its destruction, and curls up in sadness before expressing bottled up feelings. The only background color is the deep purple against which a flock of black birds swoops down and scatters the blocks and the background against Taylor's real and imagined structures. VERDICT In addition to validating feelings of anger and disappointment, this book is a fine vehicle for group discussion of ways to help others deal with these emotions. Sometimes just listening is best of all.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.