9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A lovely fable with messages on many levels,
This review is from: That Rabbit Belongs To Emily Brown (Hardcover)
Emily Brown is a young lady with a fertile imagination, a cast iron will and a worn-out (or rather worn-in) rabbit called Stanley. Unfortunately their relationship has piqued the jealousy of the thoroughly spoilt Queen Gloriana the Third who will stop at nothing to make him her own.
When Emily flatly refuses her ever more extravagant offers for him the Queen sends her Special Commandos to shanghai the hapless leporid. Now it is Emily who is not amused and she goes straight to the castle to rescue her faithful companion.
While the storyline explores themes such as covetousness and loyalty, I think the central lesson here is about the power of love - it is Emily's unconditional love for Stanley that makes him seem more valuable than all the Queen's other toys. What makes this book stand out for me is the deftness with which this abstract concept is communicated in a way that children can understand.
This profound message is wrapped in a beguiling story with a punchy script that offers huge scope for adult readers to ham up the parts of the Queen and the various royal emissaries. The illustrations are vintage Layton, combining his usual vibrant style with elements of collage, photography and clip-art, so there is plenty for observant little eyes to discover.
A 'worthy' winner of its gold medal in the 2006 Nestlé Children's Book Awards, I am nevertheless slightly surprised that this book was rated so highly by a jury comprising children. It has proven nothing like as popular with Alice (3 1/2) as the superb fairy story "The Emperor of Absurdia" which took silver, hence only four stars.