7883706960148354453.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y The Rabbits single work   picture book   children's  
Issue Details: First known date: 1998 1998
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

An allegorical story using rabbits, an introduced species, to represent the arrival of Europeans in Australia and the subsequent widespread environmental destruction.

Adaptations

y The Rabbits Lally Katz , Kate Miller-Heidke (composer), 2015 8043706 2015 single work drama opera

'John Marsden and Shaun Tan's haunting picture book tells a story we all know: a story of colonisation, civilisation and progress — a story about displacement, destruction and culture clash. And in that landscape, it tells a story of hope taking root.

'It's a story for young people, it's a story for old people, it's a story for all of us.

'Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company have assembled some of Australia's foremost creative talents to collaborate on a new opera for children and families.

Gabriela Tylesova's kooky sets and costumes realise Tan's pictures in all of their mystical wonder, while Lally Katz has turned Marsden's spare poetry into an enchanting libretto. To write the score, Kate Miller Heidke: the butterfly-voiced, classically-trained indie-pop singer who is as at home on the charts as she is performing at the Met. As well as composing The Rabbits, Kate will perform in this production.' (Production summary)

Notes

  • Other formats: Also braille.

Affiliation Notes

  • This work is affiliated with the AustLit subset Asian-Australian Children's Literature and Publishing because it has Chinese and Korean translations.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Port Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Lothian , 1998 .
      Extent: 1 v.p.
      Description: col. illus.
      Reprinted: 1999
      ISBN: 0850918782 (hbk.)
  • Appears in:
    y Lost and Found Shaun Tan , John Marsden , Shaun Tan (illustrator), New York (City) : Arthur A. Levine Books , 2011 Z1764283 2011 selected work picture book These three short stories focus on loss and despair to explore how we lose and find what matters most to us: a girl finds a bright spot in a dark world, a boy leads a strange, lost being home, and a group of peaceful creatures loses its home to cruel invaders.
    New York (City) : Arthur A. Levine Books , 2011
    • Port Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Lothian , 2000 .
      Extent: 1 v.p.
      Description: col. illus.
      ISBN: 073440221X (pbk.)
    • Port Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Andover, Southern Midlands, Midlands, Tasmania,: Lothian ; Ragged Bears , 2001 .
      Extent: 32p.
      ISBN: 073440221X

Works about this Work

‘Of Rabbits and Pirates : After-Images of E. Philips Fox’s ‘Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay, 1770’ Golnar Nabizadeh , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Adaptation , March vol. 9 no. 1 2016; (p. 35-45)
'This paper explores the role of fantasy in E. Phillips Fox’s historical painting, ‘Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770’ (1902) through two contemporary adaptations of the work in The Rabbits (1998) by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, and Daniel Boyd’s painting, ‘We Call Them Pirates Out Here’ (2006). Although markedly different in terms of their material production and aesthetic approach, the adaptations of ‘Landing of Captain Cook’ recapitulate its colonial fantasy by displacing the hyper-real contents of the original with surrealistic and pop elements, respectively. I suggest that as ‘after-images’, these adaptations usefully complicate the signification of ‘Cook’ and in so doing, engage with dialogues about how ‘Australia’ is constituted, and how it might be imagined. In this sense, the adaptations consciously draw out the fantasy of ‘Australia’ in the original through their later aesthetic permutations.' (Publication abstract)
Creatures of Havoc John Marsden , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 22-23 August 2015; (p. 8) The Sydney Morning Herald , 22-23 August 2015; (p. 8-9)
A Toothy Tale : Themes of Abjection in John Marsden and Shaun Tan's Picture Story Book, The Rabbits Dianne McGlasson , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Lion and the Unicorn , January vol. 37 no. 1 2013; (p. 20-36)
'In this article I consider the multi-award winning, intriguing, contemporary Australian picture story book, The Rabbits, written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan. Published in 1998, the book has been given the Aurealis Convener's Award for Excellence, the Spectrum Gold Award for Book Illustration, and the Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year award. While the audience for this book is notionally children and young adults (acknowledged by its inclusion in the curriculum of Australian secondary schools), the book declares itself as "a rich and haunting allegory of colonization suitable for all ages and cultures" told from the viewpoint of native animals (The Rabbits back cover). The Rabbits depicts the dispossession of small lizard and marsupial-like animals in a recognizably Australian landscape; the indigenous inhabitants are robbed of their way of life, their cultural heritage, country, and children stolen by the invading army of rabbits who arrive with all the hallmarks of European culture and, with devastating effect, ruthlessly exploit the land, displacing the indigenes. The seemingly simple narrative contains complex references that most obviously relate to the contemporary, contested notion of colonization, and warrants a serious reading.' (Author's introduction)
y Playing with Picturebooks : Postmodernism and the Postmodernesque Cherie Allan , Houndmills : Palgrave Macmillan , 2012 Z1909588 2012 single work criticism "Postmodernism has played a significant part in the development of playful and experimental picturebooks for children over the past 50 years. Playing with Picturebooks offers fresh insights into the continuing influence of postmodernism on picturebooks for children, covering a wide range of international picturebooks predominantly from the 1980s to the present. It represents a significant contribution to current debates centred on the decline of the effects of postmodernism on fiction and detects a shift from the postmodern to the postmodernesque. Playing with Picturebooks draws on a wide range of critical perspectives in examining postmodern approaches to narrative and illustration. Chapters discuss how metafictive devices enable different modes of representation, offer different perspectives to authorised version of history, and promote difference and ex-centricity over unity. Playing with Picturebooks is essential reading, not only for academics in the field of children's literature, but also for researchers, teachers and students." (Back cover)
Passion, Pedagogy and the Political : Looking Back, Looking Forward Lyn Wilkinson , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 46 no. 2 2011; (p. 27-35)
y Playing With Picturebooks : Postmodernism and the Postmodernesque Cherie Allan , Kelvin Grove : 2010 Z1761205 2010 single work thesis

The thesis traces the influence of postmodernism on picturebooks. Through a review of current scholarship on both postmodernism and postmodern literature it examines the multiple ways in which picturebooks have responded to the influence of postmodernism. The thesis is predominantly located in the field of Cultural and Literary Studies, which informs the ways in which children's literature is positioned within contemporary culture and how it responds to the influences which shape its production and reception. Cultural and Literary Studies also offers a useful theoretical frame for analysing issues of textuality, ideology, and originality, as well as social and political comment in the focus texts.

The thesis makes a significant contribution to the development of an understanding of the place of the postmodern picturebook within the cultural context of postmodernism. It adds to the field of children's literature research through an awareness of the (continuing) evolution of the postmodern picturebook particularly as the current scholarship on the postmodernism picturebook does not engage with the changing form and significance of the postmodern picturebook to the same extent as this thesis.

The study is significant from a methodological perspective as it draws on a wide range of theoretical perspectives across literary studies, visual semiotics, philosophy, cultural studies, and history to develop a tripartite methodological framework that utilises the methods of postclassical narratology, semiotics, and metafictive strategies to carry out the textual analysis of the focus texts.

Children's texts have a tradition of being both resistant and compliant. Its resistance has made a space for the development of the postmodern picturebook; its compliance is evident in its tendency to take a route around a truly radical or iconoclastic position. The thesis posits that children's postmodern picturebooks adopt what suits their form and purposes by drawing from and reflecting on some influences of postmodernism while disregarding those that seem irrelevant to its direction. Furthermore, the thesis identifies a shift in the focus of a number of postmodern picturebooks produced since the turn of the twenty-first century. This trend has seen a shift from texts which interrogate discourses of liberal humanism to those that engage with aspects of postmodernity. These texts, postmodernesque picturebooks, offer contradictory perspectives on aspects of society emanating from the rise in global trends mentioned above.

Who Will Save Us from the Rabbits?: Rewriting the Past Allegorically Brooke Collins-Gearing , Dianne Osland , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Looking Glass , vol. 14 no. 2 2010;
Know the Author Illustrator : Shaun Tan Linnet Hunter (interviewer), 2008 single work interview
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , September vol. 23 no. 4 2008; (p. 10-13)
Linnet Hunter interviews Shaun Tan about his compelling artwork and the 'imaginative universes' he continues to create, showcased in his latest book Tales from Outer Suburbia. Tan discusses the interplay between the words and pictures that produce his 'style' of illustration and some of the reasons his latest picture book is also formatted as a collection of short stories.
More Speculative Fiction Ernie Tucker , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 43 no. 3 2008; (p. 92-93)
More Than Cracking the Code : Postmodern Picture Books and New Literacies Michele Anstey , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Crossing the Boundaries 2002; (p. 87-105)
Many Grandparents Ago Liz Thomas , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Autumn vol. 8 no. 1 2000; (p. 14-16)
Untitled Lucinda Jacob , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: The School Librarian , Summer vol. 48 no. 2 2000; (p. 10)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
The Children's Book Council of Australia Annual Awards 1999 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , August vol. 43 no. 3 1999; (p. 3-12)
CBC Acceptance Speeches : John Marsden John Marsden , 1999 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 43 no. 4 1999; (p. 3-4)
CBC Acceptance Speeches : Shaun Tan Shaun Tan , 1999 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 43 no. 4 1999; (p. 4-5)
An Eidolon Interview with Shaun Tan Nick Stathopoulos (interviewer), 1999 single work interview
— Appears in: Eidolon : The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy , Winter no. 28 1999; (p. 41-46)
Shaun Tan answers questions about his approaches to book illustration and influences on his work.
Reading(s) Beneath the Surface : Using Picture Books to Develop a Critical Aesthetics Kerry Mallan , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Language and Literacy , vol. 23 no. 1 (p. 11-21)
Through various literary and illustrative devices, The Rabbits, One Less Fish, and Sand Swimmers demonstrate the complex interplay between two symbolic mediums. By her reading of the content and form of these books, Mallan draws attention to the need to engage students in a critical discourse which attends not only to the aesthetic and literary properties of these texts, but also considers their social and political implications.
Dark Undercurrents Sophie Masson , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Summer vol. 7 no. 4 1999; (p. 7-8)
Masson discusses the implications for Australian society of the dominant image of Marsden's text in The Rabbits. She highlights some possible 'readings' of the "heavily loaded sub-text" in the light of symbolic understandings of 'rabbits' in both Europe and Australia. Masson raises the complexity of extablishing identity in a "settler" society and the dangers inherent in deconstructing history by appropriating the viewpoint of indigenous culture.
Untitled Sue Clancy , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , May vol. 43 no. 2 1999; (p. 17)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Untitled Brenda O'Neill , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 13 no. 1 1999; (p. 19)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Untitled Sue Clancy , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , May vol. 43 no. 2 1999; (p. 17)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Untitled Jane Connolly , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , November vol. 13 no. 5 1998; (p. 31)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Untitled Brenda O'Neill , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 13 no. 1 1999; (p. 19)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Text Muddies a Striking View Katharine England , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 14 November 1998; (p. 27)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Children's Book Council Books of the Year : Picture Books Jennifer Moran , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 21 August 1999; (p. 23)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Children's Book Honour Stirs Up Controversy Rosemary Sorensen , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 21 August 1999; (p. 11)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Untitled Lucinda Jacob , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: The School Librarian , Summer vol. 48 no. 2 2000; (p. 10)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
Landscape Linnet Hunter , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 206 1998; (p. 46)

— Review of You and Me, Murrawee Kerri Hashmi 1998 single work picture book ; The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book ; Who Killed Cockatoo? W. A. Cawthorne 1988 single work picture book
'The Rabbits' by John Marsden and Shaun Tan Moira Robinson , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Spring vol. 6 no. 3 1998; (p. 26-27)

— Review of The Rabbits John Marsden 1998 single work picture book
The Children's Book Council of Australia Annual Awards 1999 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , August vol. 43 no. 3 1999; (p. 3-12)
CBC Acceptance Speeches : John Marsden John Marsden , 1999 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 43 no. 4 1999; (p. 3-4)
CBC Acceptance Speeches : Shaun Tan Shaun Tan , 1999 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 43 no. 4 1999; (p. 4-5)
An Eidolon Interview with Shaun Tan Nick Stathopoulos (interviewer), 1999 single work interview
— Appears in: Eidolon : The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy , Winter no. 28 1999; (p. 41-46)
Shaun Tan answers questions about his approaches to book illustration and influences on his work.
Reading(s) Beneath the Surface : Using Picture Books to Develop a Critical Aesthetics Kerry Mallan , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Language and Literacy , vol. 23 no. 1 (p. 11-21)
Through various literary and illustrative devices, The Rabbits, One Less Fish, and Sand Swimmers demonstrate the complex interplay between two symbolic mediums. By her reading of the content and form of these books, Mallan draws attention to the need to engage students in a critical discourse which attends not only to the aesthetic and literary properties of these texts, but also considers their social and political implications.
Know the Author Illustrator : Shaun Tan Linnet Hunter (interviewer), 2008 single work interview
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , September vol. 23 no. 4 2008; (p. 10-13)
Linnet Hunter interviews Shaun Tan about his compelling artwork and the 'imaginative universes' he continues to create, showcased in his latest book Tales from Outer Suburbia. Tan discusses the interplay between the words and pictures that produce his 'style' of illustration and some of the reasons his latest picture book is also formatted as a collection of short stories.
More Speculative Fiction Ernie Tucker , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 43 no. 3 2008; (p. 92-93)
y Playing With Picturebooks : Postmodernism and the Postmodernesque Cherie Allan , Kelvin Grove : 2010 Z1761205 2010 single work thesis

The thesis traces the influence of postmodernism on picturebooks. Through a review of current scholarship on both postmodernism and postmodern literature it examines the multiple ways in which picturebooks have responded to the influence of postmodernism. The thesis is predominantly located in the field of Cultural and Literary Studies, which informs the ways in which children's literature is positioned within contemporary culture and how it responds to the influences which shape its production and reception. Cultural and Literary Studies also offers a useful theoretical frame for analysing issues of textuality, ideology, and originality, as well as social and political comment in the focus texts.

The thesis makes a significant contribution to the development of an understanding of the place of the postmodern picturebook within the cultural context of postmodernism. It adds to the field of children's literature research through an awareness of the (continuing) evolution of the postmodern picturebook particularly as the current scholarship on the postmodernism picturebook does not engage with the changing form and significance of the postmodern picturebook to the same extent as this thesis.

The study is significant from a methodological perspective as it draws on a wide range of theoretical perspectives across literary studies, visual semiotics, philosophy, cultural studies, and history to develop a tripartite methodological framework that utilises the methods of postclassical narratology, semiotics, and metafictive strategies to carry out the textual analysis of the focus texts.

Children's texts have a tradition of being both resistant and compliant. Its resistance has made a space for the development of the postmodern picturebook; its compliance is evident in its tendency to take a route around a truly radical or iconoclastic position. The thesis posits that children's postmodern picturebooks adopt what suits their form and purposes by drawing from and reflecting on some influences of postmodernism while disregarding those that seem irrelevant to its direction. Furthermore, the thesis identifies a shift in the focus of a number of postmodern picturebooks produced since the turn of the twenty-first century. This trend has seen a shift from texts which interrogate discourses of liberal humanism to those that engage with aspects of postmodernity. These texts, postmodernesque picturebooks, offer contradictory perspectives on aspects of society emanating from the rise in global trends mentioned above.

Passion, Pedagogy and the Political : Looking Back, Looking Forward Lyn Wilkinson , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 46 no. 2 2011; (p. 27-35)
Who Will Save Us from the Rabbits?: Rewriting the Past Allegorically Brooke Collins-Gearing , Dianne Osland , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Looking Glass , vol. 14 no. 2 2010;
y Playing with Picturebooks : Postmodernism and the Postmodernesque Cherie Allan , Houndmills : Palgrave Macmillan , 2012 Z1909588 2012 single work criticism "Postmodernism has played a significant part in the development of playful and experimental picturebooks for children over the past 50 years. Playing with Picturebooks offers fresh insights into the continuing influence of postmodernism on picturebooks for children, covering a wide range of international picturebooks predominantly from the 1980s to the present. It represents a significant contribution to current debates centred on the decline of the effects of postmodernism on fiction and detects a shift from the postmodern to the postmodernesque. Playing with Picturebooks draws on a wide range of critical perspectives in examining postmodern approaches to narrative and illustration. Chapters discuss how metafictive devices enable different modes of representation, offer different perspectives to authorised version of history, and promote difference and ex-centricity over unity. Playing with Picturebooks is essential reading, not only for academics in the field of children's literature, but also for researchers, teachers and students." (Back cover)
A Toothy Tale : Themes of Abjection in John Marsden and Shaun Tan's Picture Story Book, The Rabbits Dianne McGlasson , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Lion and the Unicorn , January vol. 37 no. 1 2013; (p. 20-36)
'In this article I consider the multi-award winning, intriguing, contemporary Australian picture story book, The Rabbits, written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan. Published in 1998, the book has been given the Aurealis Convener's Award for Excellence, the Spectrum Gold Award for Book Illustration, and the Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year award. While the audience for this book is notionally children and young adults (acknowledged by its inclusion in the curriculum of Australian secondary schools), the book declares itself as "a rich and haunting allegory of colonization suitable for all ages and cultures" told from the viewpoint of native animals (The Rabbits back cover). The Rabbits depicts the dispossession of small lizard and marsupial-like animals in a recognizably Australian landscape; the indigenous inhabitants are robbed of their way of life, their cultural heritage, country, and children stolen by the invading army of rabbits who arrive with all the hallmarks of European culture and, with devastating effect, ruthlessly exploit the land, displacing the indigenes. The seemingly simple narrative contains complex references that most obviously relate to the contemporary, contested notion of colonization, and warrants a serious reading.' (Author's introduction)
Many Grandparents Ago Liz Thomas , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Autumn vol. 8 no. 1 2000; (p. 14-16)
Dark Undercurrents Sophie Masson , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Summer vol. 7 no. 4 1999; (p. 7-8)
Masson discusses the implications for Australian society of the dominant image of Marsden's text in The Rabbits. She highlights some possible 'readings' of the "heavily loaded sub-text" in the light of symbolic understandings of 'rabbits' in both Europe and Australia. Masson raises the complexity of extablishing identity in a "settler" society and the dangers inherent in deconstructing history by appropriating the viewpoint of indigenous culture.
More Than Cracking the Code : Postmodern Picture Books and New Literacies Michele Anstey , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Crossing the Boundaries 2002; (p. 87-105)
Creatures of Havoc John Marsden , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 22-23 August 2015; (p. 8) The Sydney Morning Herald , 22-23 August 2015; (p. 8-9)
‘Of Rabbits and Pirates : After-Images of E. Philips Fox’s ‘Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay, 1770’ Golnar Nabizadeh , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Adaptation , March vol. 9 no. 1 2016; (p. 35-45)
'This paper explores the role of fantasy in E. Phillips Fox’s historical painting, ‘Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770’ (1902) through two contemporary adaptations of the work in The Rabbits (1998) by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, and Daniel Boyd’s painting, ‘We Call Them Pirates Out Here’ (2006). Although markedly different in terms of their material production and aesthetic approach, the adaptations of ‘Landing of Captain Cook’ recapitulate its colonial fantasy by displacing the hyper-real contents of the original with surrealistic and pop elements, respectively. I suggest that as ‘after-images’, these adaptations usefully complicate the signification of ‘Cook’ and in so doing, engage with dialogues about how ‘Australia’ is constituted, and how it might be imagined. In this sense, the adaptations consciously draw out the fantasy of ‘Australia’ in the original through their later aesthetic permutations.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 19 Jun 2014 14:06:38
Settings:
  • c
    Australia,
    c
Explore:
7629915
8105264
8158934
9603642
7627332
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X