Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

Ah it feels good to be posting again.

Last time I was passing through an airport, I picked up this precious book. 'The Rabbit Problem' by Emily Gravett is just filled with exciting surprises (even for a 22 year old). There really is something about buying a book at an airport. It just feels like a treat - a new adventure to take with you.

The Rabbit Problem reminds me a lot of The Jolly Postman books by Allan Ahlberg that are full of exciting envelopes and new finds. The Rabbit Problem has a similar presentation to these. It includes a party invitation, a pattern brochure for knitting a jumper, a birth certificate, a ration book, a newspaper and a cookery book - all attached to the book itself, but easily accessed as if they were real documents. What a fantastic thought for children.

The amount of learning opportunities this book provides is crazy. The book could be used as a stimulus to look at any one of these documents above. For example if children are learning about world war II- the ration book is perfect. If children are looking at how to structure their writing, the cookery book could be used as an example of what should come first and how to make instructions clear to a reader. There are really endless possibilities for each of these documents mentioned above and this book is one that I am going to keep safe for future teaching for sure.

On top of all the individual surprises this book has to offer, there is a great overall message delivered. Each page of the book represents a different month. The book is sort of like a calendar. In fact, the book is hole-punched at the top - perhaps this is suggesting it can be hung up like a calendar - how adorable in a child's bedroom. The story is about rabbits (for some reason rabbits just do it for me when it comes to children's story books) and January starts with one lonely rabbit. This rabbit is unable to leave his field. The population of rabbits increases throughout the book and then finally at the end of the book (maybe I should not be saying this...) - well it's a good ending.
What is great about the content, is that it teaches children about population. It introduces doubling and well, maths. I for one have never been very good at mathematics. However with a book as great as this one, children could without a doubt be inspired to learn about numbers. All you need is a good stimulus, and I believe this book is one great example for this.

Let's not forget that (like every story book I choose) the pictures are of course adorable. They appear as watercolour and epitomize through their detail the story and emotion of every rabbit.

This book just makes me happy.

Why don't you be Lonely Rabbit's friend.

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