Feb 5, 2012

Robbut

a Tale of Tails
by Robert Lawson

This one also on my shelf, picked up at a library sale somewhere no doubt. I thought it was a sequel to Rabbit Hill, but no. It features talking woodland animals and rabbits inhabiting a similar world, that's all. Robbut is a charming moralizing story about a young rabbit who is dissatisfied with his tail. He thinks all the other animals have more useful or attractive tails and longs to change his. When a sudden opportunity comes, Robbut is eager to try wearing some other animals' tails. He tries out a cat's tail, a snake's and a fox's. Each time his experience is marvelous in the beginning, but soon turns to inconvenience and even disaster. In the end he learns that a rabbit's little fluffy cotton tail is perfectly suited for a rabbit, and is content with his lot.

Against my expectations, I really enjoyed this little story. I was curious each time to see what kind of trouble Robbut's new tail would get him into. After the first two attempts at new finery he wanted his rabbit tail back and I was disappointed, I wanted to see more adventures! but luckily for the reader, he hadn't quite learned his lesson and went back one final time to try the fox tail. The endpapers are wonderfully decorated and lead you to think he tried a great many more tails: cow, posssum, skunk, etc, but it was really only three. The illustrations by the author really add a lot to the story. I don't think I've ever seen such a cute rabbit face so cross and glaring as Robbut could be! and the little man who worked the spells reminded me of the little man who hid behind the curtain in the original Wizard of Oz illustrations- the round opaque glasses were rather creepy. Overall it was really charming, and made me want to look for more of this author's work.

rating: 4/5 ....... 94 pages, 1979

2 comments:

Chris said...

This sounds adorable!! Sounds like it'll be rough getting a hold of, but seriously gonna keep an eye out for it!

Jenny said...

Aw! Looks like something I should have had as a child, but didn't. I had a series of books about Little Grey Rabbit, which were very wonderful and also, incidentally, featured a rabbit getting rid of her tail. Though in Grey Rabbit's case I believe she was doing it for a kind reason and not out of vanity.