News & Reviews

'Chimpanzees for Tea!' awarded best illustration of THE BOOK FOR CHILDREN in the Book Illustration Festival "BookILL Fest 2017
Nominated for Biennale of Illustration, Bratislava, 2015
Little Home Bird shortlisted for the North Somerset Teachers Award 2016
Little Home Bird longlisted for the UKLA Award 2017
Little Home Bird nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award 2017

Kirkus Reviews
The Guardian - Best new children's books - reviews roundup

Kirkus Reviews
The Bookbag
Story Seekers
Read it Daddy
Red Reading Room

'Never Ever' Awards & Nominations

- CCBC Choices 2014," the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
- Kirkus Best Books of 2013
- Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014
- Moonbeam Children's Book Awards - Gold for Preschool Picture Books
- Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2014
- Awarded Kirkus Star
- IPPY Silver Award 2013 for Children’s Picture Books (All Ages)

'Rabbityness' Awards & Nominations

- Shortlisted for the English 4-11 Picture Book Awards
- Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2013
- Shortlised for the Waterstones Childrens Book Prize 2013
- Shortlised for the 'Read it Again' Picture Book prize 2013
- Moonbeam Children's Book Awards - bronze for Best Illustrator
- Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2013
- Finalist of the Peoples Book Prize 2012/2013
- 'The Independent' Books of the Year 2012: Children's books aged under 9




The Bookbag

Story Seekers

Read it Daddy



The Bookbag

Guardian Review April 2012
This stunning debut picture book is all about creativity and difference. Rabbit likes un-rabbity things such as painting and music. He fills the rabbit world with colour and sound; soon all rabbits are enjoying them too. Suddenly Rabbit disappears. Although the other rabbits search for him they find no trace; their world turns dull and grey again. At last, at the bottom of a dark hole the rabbits find all they need for making their own paintings and music. His wonderful legacy lives on and changes rabbit life for ever.

Reviewed by: Dorne Fraser/Little Parachutes
How this book might help: Celebrates individuality, encourages creativity in everyone and positively introduces children to dealing with loss of any kind

Rabbit loves doing 'rabbity' things like washing his whiskers and sleeping in his burrow but he also enjoys 'un-rabbity' things like painting and music. The other rabbits love his un-rabbity activities and when he suddenly vanishes, the world seems very dull and quiet. His departure leaves a large hole, but when they investigate the hole they find the things that will allow them to paint and make music; they discover that they too have un-rabbity talents.

Things we liked about this book: This is the author's first book. It is a charming story which has been beautifully illustrated with vibrant colours.

Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch. 23rd April 2012
This sensitively written book is a great debut for Jo Emposn. Rabbit loves life and doing creative things and when he suddenly disappears his friends are desolated. But he has left all his friends some very special gifts and a wonderful way to remember him. The bold vibrant pictures of most of the book contrast well with the desolate pictures of Rabbit's disappearance, and the return to vibrancy makes a really positive statement. An excellent way to help young children come to terms with loss and to foster a positive outlook.

Julia Eccleshare,
3rd April 2012
Highly original, this is a stunning debut picture book which celebrates creativity and difference while also serving as a touching introduction to the idea that people leave good things behind them even when they are no longer around. Rabbit likes doing all kinds of obvious rabbity things like jumping, hopping, burrowing and sleeping. But he also likes un-rabbity things like painting and music. Rabbit fills the rabbit world with colour and sound; soon all rabbits are enjoying them too. Suddenly Rabbit disappears. Although the other rabbits search for him they find no trace. All they can find is what they need for making their own paintings and music. Even without Rabbit, his wonderful legacy lives on and changes rabbit life forever.

News from CILIP Youth Libraries Group - March 2012

Children’s Books Consultant and YLG Honorary Life Member, Wendy Cooling is so excited about ‘Rabbityness’ by Jo Empson being published this month by Child’s Play that she can’t wait to tell you about it!
“An exciting new talent has entered the world of children’s books; Jo Empson’s first picture book is fresh, quirky and wonderfully designed, a complete book to go back to again and again. ‘Rabbityness’, as the title and cover suggest, is set in the world of rabbits and in this world, a little removed from our own, the author/illustrator tackles the difficult subject of loss. The book is very child-friendly and will enable readers to think about loss and come to understand that there is joy in memories and in the future, as well as times of sadness. Many children simply see the fun of the book and want to do some Rabbity painting, but the real magic of it is that it quietly speaks to the child who needs its message.

The text is a treat to read aloud and the words leap through the pages just like Rabbit, the most extrovert of rabbits, does. He does lots of rabbity things but he also loves to paint and make music, in fact do unrabbity things. His disappearance is a blow to his friends but he has not left without thinking about them and enabling them to experience the joy of doing unrabbity things too.
The illustrations and the words work perfectly together to give the story both colour and wonder. Jo Empson uses colour with great confidence and so in fact it’s words, pictures, colour and design working together to make a complete book - don’t miss the end -papers as they’re part of the story too. This book will stay with me always, I love it and I love the look in children’s eyes as they notice the difference between front and back end-papers. Look carefully, enjoy - and yes get your paint brushes out - and join me in the queue of people looking forward to this illustrator’s next book.”
Rabbityness by Jo Empson will be available to buy in April.