The Rabbit Listened

by Cori Doerrfeld (Author) Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
A universal, deeply moving exploration of grief and empathy With its spare, poignant text and irresistibly sweet illustrations, The Rabbit Listened is a tender meditation on loss. When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn't know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn't feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that's not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. Whether read in the wake of tragedy or as a primer for comforting others, this is a deeply moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes.
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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
"This appealing work is an excellent addition to any emotional-intelligence shelf. (Picture book. 3-8)"

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

It's something people of all ages struggle with: what's the best way to comfort someone? Taylor, a curly-haired boy in a striped onesie, is miserable after a flock of birds knocks down his amazing wooden-block tower. One by one, several animals approach him with strategies for feeling better. A bear advises rage ("Let's shout about it! Garrr! RARRR! GRAAAAR!"), and a snake suggests making someone else miserable ("Shhhhh. Let'ssss go knock down someone else'ssss"). Taylor refuses to be comforted in the ways the animals see fit, and they leave. Then along comes a rabbit who doesn't say a thing, but in its willingness to listen, persist, and be physically close ("It moved closer, and closer. Until Taylor could feel its warm body"), Taylor senses genuine concern and respect for his feelings. He opens up in all of the ways the animals previously suggested, but now it's on his terms--and then he's ready to build again. Each of Doerrfeld's highly distilled and elegantly concise vignettes brims with emotional honesty and profound empathy. The result is a story that's wise, funny, and easy to take to heart. Ages 3-5. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Feb.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-K--Taylor is overcome with sadness when an impressive block construction crashes to the ground, and none of his animal friends' suggestions help. Each creature proposes an outlet: Chicken wants to talk about it, Bear surmises that Taylor is angry and offers to "shout about it," Hyena suggests laughing, and so on. Taylor doesn't feel like doing any of those things and remains in a funk. But when Rabbit cuddles in close and listens, the child finally lets loose. With sadness finally dispelled, Taylor can now envision beginning again to build something "amazing." The cartoon illustrations, digitally rendered with thick black outlines, depict a curly-haired moppet in striped pajamas. The animals appear in several vignettes as they submit their ideas. Taylor builds with rapt concentration, proudly admires the work, gasps in horror at its destruction, and curls up in sadness before expressing bottled up feelings. The only background color is the deep purple against which a flock of black birds swoops down and scatters the blocks and the background against Taylor's real and imagined structures. VERDICT In addition to validating feelings of anger and disappointment, this book is a fine vehicle for group discussion of ways to help others deal with these emotions. Sometimes just listening is best of all.--Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

New York Times Editors' Choice
New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2018
TIME magazine's 10 Best YA and Children's Books of 2018
Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2018
2019 Charlotte Huck Honor Book by NCTE
2019 SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Book
New York Public Library's Best Kids Books of 2018
Chicago Public Library's Best Picture Books of 2018
Kirkus Best Books of 2018
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018
People Magazine Kid Pick
Spring 2018 Indie Next List

★ "This appealing work is an excellent addition to any emotional-intelligence shelf." — Kirkus, starred review

★ "Each of Doerrfeld's highly distilled and elegantly concise vignettes brims with emotional honesty and profound empathy. The result is a story that's wise, funny, and easy to take to heart." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "This is a delightful picture book with a lot of meaning in the subtext...Granting this work a place in your library collection should give it the exposure and the voice it so richly deserves." — School Library Connection

"The Rabbit Listened is simple in premise, but deeply affecting." —TIME

"The bibliotherapeutic potential of thistitle is undeniable, but it never overwhelms the story and only contributes to thisbig-hearted picture book's success." — The Horn Book

"Wonderfully drawn...offers what Taylor — like all of us — needs: the comfort of someone who will just listen, laugh and give a hug." — New York Times

"[The Rabbit Listened] is a lovely book and a corrective, perhaps, for adults who may forget that quiet attention has its own curative power." — The Wall Street Journal

"Full of spirit and uncensored emotion... Doerrfeld skillfully evokes the amazing bond between kids and their pets." — The Chicago Tribune

"A gentle lesson in the power of silence." — PEOPLE

"A beautifully rendered story of loss, friendship, andlearning how to rebuild.... This is a tear-jerking tale of learning howto be there for a loved one, relevant for both the child hearing the story and the adult reading it." — Booklist

"A reminder for adults and children alike that sometimes the best way to help someone is to sit quietly with them." — BCCB

"In addition to validating feelings of anger and disappointment, this book is a fine vehicle for group discussion of ways to help others deal with these emotions. Sometimes just listening is best of all" —SLJ

"A lovely springboard to discuss grief with young children." — Book Riot
Cori Doerrfeld
Cori Doerrfeld is the New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of The Rabbit Listened and has also created art for such books as That's Life! and Help Mom Work from Home! Originally from Illinois, Cori moved to Minnesota for college and quickly fell in love with the state's natural beauty. This book is her homage to the North Shore along Lake Superior as well as the magnificence and mystery one may find when surrounded by nature. It is also a nod to her dad and Grandpa Lenny and an examination of the many layers that make up the human experience. Today, Cori can still be found exploring Minnesota--now with her husband, two children, and rescue dog, Jinx.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780735229358
Lexile Measure
450
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Dial Books
Publication date
February 20, 2018
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV002210 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Rabbits
JUV039030 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Death & Dying
Library of Congress categories
Rabbits
Animals
Picture books
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Emotions &
Listening
JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Rabbits

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