The Rabbit and the Shadow

20 October 2014
Written by Freya & Max | Images by Sacha Kenny & curiosity of Book Island
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This month we have two special guest reviewers, Freya (10) and Max (5), who share their thoughts on the award winning picture book: The Rabbit and the Shadow



The Rabbit and the Shadow is a beautifully presented picture book first published in English by Book Island in 2014. Written and illustrated by Mélanie Rutten
- a French speaking, writer and illustrator from Brussels, The Rabbit and the Shadow was awarded an honourable mention in the Bologna Ragazzi Awards in 2014.

Mélanie Rutten was born in Belgium, but spent most of her childhood in Africa and Central America. After studying photography in Brussels, she took evening classes with Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award winner Kitty Crowther. The Rabbit and the Shadow is her fifth title

The Rabbit and the Shadow
(introduction from the Book Island website)

Enter the wonderful world of the following curious cast: the Rabbit who wants to grow up, the anxious Stag, the Soldier at war, the Cat and his recurring dream, the Book that wants to know everything, and the Shadow.

Over the course of ten short chapters they grow up, learn how to live together and to deal with their fears.


FREYA: 10 years old

I really like the pictures and drawings and the bright colours.

I also like how the characters were all different, that they all wanted to do their own thing and in the end they did. 

My favourite character was the Book. Even through it didn’t come into the story much it just had a unique character. Like it was – books are meant to know stuff and this book wanted to know more because it didn’t really know the stuff it needed to know.

I think the message of the story is that even though you might have arguments with your friends you still help each other. Also don’t stop trying, always try to reach your dreams cause your dreams will come true if you just keep trying.

I think 7 or 8 year-olds who like a loose story-line and bright colourful pictures would really enjoy this book.

If you’re someone who likes a loose story-line it would be a good book. I don’t think it would be for younger kids because they might not understand the story-line.

The thing I really liked about it was the bright colourful pictures and the unique drawings, the shadow drawings are really cool.

I give it 7 out of 10


MAX: 5 years old

Well I quite liked the pictures because the colours were so bright, I like the drawings and I kind-of liked the characters in the book.

My favourite character was the Stag because he had horns.

WHAT DID YOU THINK THE STORY WAS ABOUT?: The book was about animals and the night and how the characters all came together. It was about climbing a volcano. The three friends first climbed up a volcano and then when they came down there was two more friends and they made a football team.

WHAT WAS THE MESSAGE OF THE STORY?: Well it told me to look after each other like the friends in the book did because they were on a journey together.

I give it 8 out of 10 because I quite liked the pictures and the colours because the colours were so bright. 


Greet Pauwelijn from Book Island

The Rabbit and the Shadow is about growing up, dealing with your fears, it’s very cryptic and what I really like about it is that it doesn’t give everything away straight away so you read it and think ‘hmm I wonder why that is?’ 

Like in the beginning it says ‘one day a rabbit appeared’ and you think ‘what is that rabbit doing there?’ well you’ll not find out in this book you’ll find out in the second book.

I love how the arthur who is also the illustrator, how she just kept some of the information from the reader until later. You really have to think when you read it – it’s very poetic, I just loved it when I read it the first time I thought ‘god this is so good’.

**Click here to read Sacha Kenny's MyStory interview with Greet Pauwelijn, owner of the publishing house Book Island



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