Strong with the cover reveals is this one.
Okay, so I’ve a new technique with these reveals. Covers are nice, absolutely. Who doesn’t like a good old fashioned book jacket straight from the designer’s table? But when you run a blog like this one you want to shake it up a little. After all, don’t you want to know a little bit about the person behind the book? Take today’s case, Mr. Kieran Larwood. Years ago I read Mr. Larwood’s book Freaks, which was the kind of book you’d get if you combined the X-men franchise with the 1932 film of the same name. His latest middle grade is Longburrow: Podkin One-Ear, a very different story entirely from that of Freaks. Far more in the vein of Brian Jacques, here’s the description:
“Podkin One-Ear is a legend: a fearsome warrior rabbit whose reputation for cunning and triumph in battle has travelled the ages. But how did he become such a mighty fighter? The answer may surprise you . . . When a travelling bard arrives at Thornwood Warren on Midwinter night, he is warmly welcomed. In return for food and lodging, he settles down to tell the tale of Podkin One-Ear – and soon the rabbits are enthralled to hear the story of how one lost little rabbit overcame the cruellest enemy imaginable, and became the greatest warrior their land has ever known.”
But before we get to the cover reveal, I have a treat! Mr. Larwood agreed to answer one of my sillier questions as it pertains to his book.
Name Your Top Five Literary Rabbits and Explain Why.
The answers may surprise you. As Mr. Larwood puts it . . .
1.Watership Down by Richard Adams
This is probably the most obvious choice, and everyone must have heard of this classic tale. Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig were a big part of my childhood, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new film adaptation. (I hope it doesn’t make me cry as much as the last one did).
- Little Rabbit Foo Foo by Michael Rosen
Alongside writing, I still work as Kindergarten teacher, and I have read this story to my pupils countless times. The rude little rabbit always has them in stitches, as do Arthur Robins’ excellent illustrations. Don’t worry- he gets what he deserves in the end.
- When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
Such a touching, semi-autobiographical story about a young Jewish girl who has to flee Nazi Germany in the 1930s. An incredibly difficult topic for children to understand, but this book does it beautifully.
- Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai
I once wanted to be a comic book artist, and I would have loved to create something like this. Usagi is a samurai rabbit in an animal-filled feudal Japan. Stan’s artwork is gorgeous, and there are tons of issues to choose from. My favourite is Usagi’s origin story.
- I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klasson
This lovely picture book is technically about a bear, but the rabbit is the one who steals his hat. I have a soft spot for this book, as my brother starred as the bear in the stage adaptation. What he did to the rabbit was unprintable– the book is much kinder, and one of my own children’s favourites.
Thank you, Kieran! Such fabulous choices. Nice to see the inclusion of Usagi Yojimbo here, and now I’m mighty curious about this staged adaptation of the Klassen classic of which you speak.
And now, for everyone playing along at home, the official cover of Longburrow: Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood: