The Rabbit’s Magician
Ford Street, 2022
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95
When Koala, Echidna and Quokka each invite the newcomer rabbit to play with them, Rabbit continues to gaze at the moon and politely declines explaining that he is waiting. When Owl asks what Rabbit is waiting for, Rabbit explains that he is waiting for his magician friend The Great Albertino who used to perform all sorts of magic tricks, and while he would practise new tricks for days at a time to perfect them, he also told Rabbit that everything was just an illusion, a trick of the eye.
But this time, when Albertine disappeared into his room he didn’t return and now Rabbit is waiting…
It is up to Owl to explain the concept of death to Rabbit but to show him that even though Albertino might not return in the way Rabbit expects, nevertheless he is always there.
Given the focus on dying these last few days with the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and today’s National Day of Mourning, this is a gentle and exquisite way to help our youngest understand the concept for whom it may well have sparked many questions. It was mentioned during broadcasts that 17 000 people had died in the UK alone, since Her Majesty’s death, and so this is something that our children face in their families even though it is not on such a grand scale, something that can be bewildering, can be guilt-inducing, and definitely something that stirs unknown emotions.
To be able to answer the questions through such a sensitive, beautifully illustrated story, will be welcomed by both teachers and parents at this time and help our little ones understand and accept things just that little bit better.