Freya Blackwood, The Great Rabbit Chase, Scholastic Australia, 1 Sept 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781743811641
One day, Mum leaves to buy a pair of gumboots and comes home with a rabbit. This beautiful rabbit, aptly named Gumboots, has many wonderful traits, but its special talent is escaping! As the whole town joins in the chase to catch the rabbit, it’s Gumboots who has a special surprise for everyone.
Through a seemingly simple storyline about a little girl trying to catch her rabbit, Blackwood creates a layered tale with engaging illustrations and meaningful details. John, the lonely zebra crossing man, enjoys an afternoon chat with friends. The busy man in the suit takes a moment to wade in the creek. Mrs Finkel’s crinkles unwrinkle when her baby nods off for a nap. And with a subtle touch of humour, Mum races around town fresh out of the shower and still wrapped in a towel. All thanks to a little rabbit on a mission. And what a lovely mission he’s on. But there will be no spoiler here. It’s well worth a read to find out where Gumboots is going in such a hurry.
Freya Blackwood has created a warm and gentle story about community and simple, everyday moments in this charming picture book for children aged three and up. This is the first picture book both written and illustrated by this award-winning children’s book author and illustrator and it’s a pure delight.
Reviewed by Stephanie Ward