Issue Details: First known date: 2013 2013
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'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)

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Last amended 7 May 2013 13:48:16
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