Hares to You! Rabbityness by Jo Empson
RABBIT LIKED DOING RABBITY THINGS.
Rabbit is black, long-eared, with bristling whiskers which give him an energetic, even frenetic look.
But he seems pretty prosaic--he likes jumping, hopping, burrowing, settling down in a patch of clover for a nap.
But he has another side:
RABBIT LIKED DOING UN-RABBITY THINGS.
HE LIKED PAINTING...
AND MAKING MUSIC.
Rabbit is a painting bunny to delight the heart of Jackson Pollock. His abstract expressionistic splatters and drips adorn the forest, with a few splashes of color even landing on his own ears.
And how he plays that horn! When he blows that vividly painted Alpine horn, colorful notes fill the forest. Rabbit opens up new ways of being a bunny to all his friends.
But then one day Rabbit is gone. He is nowhere to be seen, and there's not a trace of him, not even at his burrow.
THE WOODS WERE VERY QUIET AND GREY.
ALL THAT RABBIT HAD LEFT WAS A DEEP, DARK HOLE.
Rabbit's friends mourn the loss of his company, his love of life, his genius.
But then, deep in his hole, they find his paints and his horn. At first they seem just sad reminders of what they have lost. But then they understand what he has left them. They can't create just like Rabbit did. No one ever could. But he has given them something--the IDEA that they could create their own color and sound the way he had shown them.
THEY FILLED THE WOODS WITH COLOR AND MUSIC ONCE AGAIN.
Artist-author Jo Empson's Rabbityness (Child's Play, 2012) is a beautiful picture book, alive with color and the joy of the creation of beauty, which also speaks directly to the feeling of loss, the loss of an individual and the loss of that special genius that such loss can bring. It offers comfort in the rebirth of the essence that is so deeply missed, the essence that continues to offer value and joy. A simple story with a deep meaning that speaks to the heart. "An imaginatively designed lesson in creativity and loss," says Kirkus Reviews.