Cover of this title
The Rabbits
John Marsden and Shaun Tan

This picture book is a fable of colonisation. While both the writer and the illustrator live in Australia, the stylised illustrations and the abstract descriptions manage to provide a more general understanding of the experience of a culture feeling overrun by another. The story is told from the perspective of numbat-like creatures who experience how rabbits arrive at their shores, populate, and cause environmental and cultural devastation. The text is bleak but has the benefit of providing insight into the experiences of indigenous cultures around the world. In addition, the book can also be read more generally as depicting the impact of humanity on the environment.

· · 1998

Critical edition

Marsden, John, and Shaun Tan. The Rabbits. Hachette, 2010. 48 pp., ISBN 9780734411365

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In favour of this entry

  • Award-winning
  • Beyond the US and the UK
  • Charged with meaning
  • Explores historical contexts
  • Intercultural perspectives
  • Silenced voices