‘The Rabbits’ is a picture book by Australian author and illustrator Shaun Tan and author John Marsden. Those familiar with Tan’s work, perhaps though ‘The Lost Thing’ or ‘Tales of Suburbia’, will know that he is a genius in all respects. Tan’s illustrations are beautiful and so detailed but the stories he weaves also explore themes and concepts central to what it is to be a modern Australian.
‘The Rabbits’ is the tale of the colonial invasion of Australia and the near eradication of those that were already here but not recognised by those arriving. Tan and Marsden use the analogy of rabbits, representing the British colonists, and bandicoots, representing the indigenous inhabitants, to make a pointed comment on the damage done to those losing their land and way of life. Continue reading