The Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche
Published by Enchanted Lion Books
Be prepared to enter a picture book that will have you becoming the storyteller. Camille Garoche has created a wordless book that will have you looking at each page in depth. There you will see the diorama like cut-paper scenes, in which you will search for subtle differences in meaning, expression and scenery changes to portray the story that you see, her pictures, your words.
Two girls look out from the window of the quaint cottage at the snow. One girl ventures outside and sculpts a rabbit in the snow while her friend watches patiently from inside the cottage. Ever so carefully, the snow rabbit is carried inside and the girl hands it over to her friend who sits in a wheelchair. And now the rabbit is real. The girls go out into the snow with the rabbit, one girl walking, one in a wheelchair. But then the rabbit runs away. The girls chase it, but the wheelchair becomes entrenched in the snow. The rabbit stops, watches and waits, and grows an enormous size. With great kindness, the girl carries her friend to the rabbit. However, the night time comes, and the girls must return to the cottage. The girl mounts the rabbit and rides through the magical winter's night, free from the limitations of her wheelchair, while her friend walks back through the snow. As the girls gaze out through the cottage window, they farewell their new friend.
The fascinating aspect of wordless picture books is the fact that it can tell a thousand stories. At first I thought the girls were friends, but then I thought they were sisters … and then … are they twins? … and what happened for one to be in a wheelchair? … is she permanently disabled? … are there really two girls? … or is the wheelchair bound girl projecting herself as an able bodied person, creating the story while she is snowed in at the cottage? … so many questions and so many possibilities.
The Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche is a multi-layered book. On the surface are pictures that can tell a simple story, but once you unpack the changing mood of the illustrations on each page, the emotions of the characters, and the dark creatures that begin to appear in the background, a story of complexities is released. The Snow Rabbit is a thought provoking book that speaks to the reader's level of understanding of people and circumstances.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Camille Garoche
Title: The Snow Rabbit
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
Published: November 2015