Fierce Bad Rabbits

Fierce Bad Rabbits : The Tales Behind Children's Picture Books

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'An enlightening, perceptive analysis of the books that build us' Sunday Telegraph, 5 star review
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What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about?
What has Meg and Mog got to do with Polish embroidery?
Why is death in picture books so often represented by being eaten?

We've read Green Eggs and Ham, laughed at Mr Tickle and whetted our appetites with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. But what lies behind the picture books that make up our childhood?

Fierce Bad Rabbits takes us on an eye-opening journey in a pea-green boat through the history of picture books. From Edward Lear through to Beatrix Potter and contemporary picture books like Stick Man, Clare Pollard shines a light on some of our best-loved childhood stories, their histories and what they really mean. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem - and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think.

Sparkling with wit, magic and nostalgia, Fierce Bad Rabbits weaves in tales from Clare's own childhood, and her re-readings as a parent, with fascinating facts and theories about the authors behind the books. Introducing you to new treasures while bringing your childhood favourites to vivid life, it will make you see even stories you've read a hundred times afresh.
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'A gem, thoroughly enjoyable. Pollard has managed to dissect all our favourite stories with her scalpel, while leaving their magic intact' Spectator

'When I read Fierce Bad Rabbits, I thought, why has no one written this book before? But Clare Pollard has done so superbly - it is perceptive, illuminating, scholarly but at the same time entertaining. It should be essential reading for every thinking parent' Penelope Lively

'This book is a happy way to reconnect with old friends' Times

'Delightful . . . as good a guide as you can hope for' Harper's Bazaar
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 30mm | 422g
  • Fig Tree
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241354781
  • 9780241354780
  • 9,209

Review quote

Excellent * Daily Mail Book of the Week * Delightful. As good a guide as you could hope for. It will make you think again about why you loved the children's stories that mean so much to you, and it will lead you to new discoveries too. . . A happy reconnection to the serious joys of childhood * Harper's Bazaar * Pollard so delicately enters into the world of [picture books] that the reader feels they are rediscovering once-loved landscapes * New Statesman * Most people's primal cultural memory is that of being read to by a parent. This is a phenomenon most sensitively and intelligently explored in Fierce Bad Rabbits * Daily Telegraph * Pollard is a poet, and her prose is stunning . . . she writes with a joy that is luminous. Essential reading for anyone with a child, or who ever was a child * i * A gem . . . hard to put down. The combination of vast scholarly research and witty writing makes for a thoroughly enjoyable book. Pollard has managed to dissect all our favourite stories with her scalpel, while leaving their magic intact * Spectator * An enlightening, perceptive analysis of the books that build us * Sunday Telegraph, 5 star review * This book is a happy way to reconnect with old friends * Times * When I read Fierce Bad Rabbits, I thought, why has no one written this book before? But Clare Pollard has done so superbly - it is perceptive, illuminating, scholarly but at the same time entertaining. It should be essential reading for every thinking parent * Penelope Lively *
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About Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard is an award-winning poet and playwright based in London. She is the author of five poetry collections and the Editor of the Modern Poetry in Translation magazine. She is striving to build the perfect picture-book library for her two small children.
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