Jo Ham has taken a deceptively simple concept, a rabbit in silhouette, and turned it into the Rabbit series of books for some of the youngest of readers.
The first two titles are Uh-oh! Rabbit and Yippee! Rabbit. They’re really appealing.
Uh-oh! Rabbit sees Rabbit exploring the concept of going up and down. Rabbit plays on a see-saw, dives into a pool, and climbs up to slide down a slippery dip. Hopefully Rabbit will be careful not to get hurt.
In Yippee! Rabbit, the Rabbit enjoys flying a kite, playing on a swing, and riding a scooter. Yippee! Doing all those things, Rabbit can pretend to be a superhero. At least until the kite gets tangled, or it rains.
Text in the Rabbit books is minimal. Few words are used, and those that are, are repeated.
There’s careful and deliberate design, from the square shape and smaller size of the books, to fun end papers and use of white space. In fact, the books are mostly black and white, something which is beneficial for the developing vision of babies and toddlers.
Each book also has small touches of a single primary colour throughout. In book one, yellow is used to highlight Rabbit’s backpack, snow goggles, and elements of the play equipment. In book two, there’s a blue sky, rain, and other elements.
Rabbit has taken off around the world, and is now more than a book star. Rabbit silhouettes in a variety of guises can also be found on cards, prints, dinnerware, and other items. It’s an extremely effective concept.
The Rabbit series is perfect for toddlers and would make a great gift for new babies. Highly recommended.
Title: Yippee! Rabbit / Uh-oh! Rabbit
Author/Illustrator: Jo Ham
Publisher: Walker Books, $19.99
Publication Date: August 2023
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture Book