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Friday, February 9, 2018

The Rabbit Listened, written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld. Dial, Penguin Random House. 2018. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"The chicken was the first to notice.
"Cluck, cluck! What a shame! I'm so sorry, sorry, sorry this happened!"
"Let's talk, talk,
talk about it!
Cluck, cluck!"
But Taylor didn't feel like
So the chicken left."
There are those times when talking doesn't really help. The sadness is deep. Friends want to offer a helping hand, but are not really sure how to go about doing so. It is an experience many of us have shared.

Taylor's day starts with joy and imagination. A set of blocks, persistence, and ingenuity result in quite the amazing construction until ... it all goes out the window when the structure collapses. Poor Taylor! Excitement and sense of purpose wanes; sadness sets in.

Many friends offer help. The hen clucks and encourages talk. The bear roars and offers an opportunity to shout out the anger. The elephant offers reconstruction, only needing help in the replacement of the blocks. No one has a remedy to stem the hurt. Alone and aching, Taylor is unaware of the very quiet rabbit that finds its way to Taylor's side, providing the warmth and support of a friend willing to listen. Taylor asks the rabbit to stay. Only then can Taylor give voice to the depth of feelings suffered. The rabbit never wavers. Emotions spent, the two can finally move forward.

We all struggle to find ways to help those who are suffering. The book offers thoughts on showing love and concern without saying anything. Each small scene is filled with emotion and wisdom. The story will have a lasting effect on all who share it.

In her story of loss, Cori Doerrfeld uses plenty of white space, allowing focus is center on the little one who is struggling. She created her artwork 'with digital ink and a whole lotta heart'. Lucky we are to be able to share it. That rabbit is a keeper!

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