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“The rabbit listened as Taylor talked. The rabbit listened as Taylor shouted. The rabbit listened as Taylor remembered and laughed.” –The Rabbit Listened
The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld
When something sad happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure that they have the correct answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then, the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen . . . which is just what Taylor needs.
Everyone can relate to Taylor, who doesn’t want anyone’s advice. When Taylor’s block structure falls, everyone is ready to tell Taylor what to do. Chicken says Taylor should, “Talk about it!” Snake’s advice is, “Let’ssss knock down someone else’sss.” When the rabbit listens to Taylor, Taylor is able to process his emotions and soon he is ready to build something new. Taylor’s story is about how to help a friend just by being near and listening.
The picture book’s message is told with very few words. Each page has one to four short sentences and some pages have as few as two words. The illustrations are simple but impactful. In one picture, the ostrich hides his head in a pile of blocks and advises, “Let’s hide and pretend nothing happened.” In each illustration, Taylor’s emotions are shown through his facial expressions and his body language, making it easy for readers to understand Taylor’s feelings. The simple illustrations are perfectly paired with the story’s text and do an excellent job of getting the message across.
The Rabbit Listened is a wonderful story about friendship and the ability to help someone through a difficult situation just by being near. The picture book is a perfect tool to use to help children understand the importance of listening to their friends. Parents and teachers that want to teach a child about the importance of listening should definitely add The Rabbit Listened to their must-read reading list.
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