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The Rabbit’s Magician, Shae Millward (author), Andy Fackrell (illus.), Ford Street Publishing, August 2022, ISBN 9781922696076
Ziggy’s beloved magician has performed an amazing disappearing trick. But just where is The Amazing Albertino? Ziggy waits. And waits some more. Has something gone wrong with the trick?
How can a book be heartbreaking, joyful and uplifting all at the same time? It’s done with the mastery of its creators. Shae Millward and Andy Fackrell’s The Rabbit’s Magician is a picture book that has come as a gift; a source of wonder, and hope, and absolute enlightenment, that brings comfort and warmth at a time when loss seems overwhelming. The energy illuminating from this book has no bounds; the ‘trickery’ of the symbolic moon, the Law of Conservation of Energy where physical forms change but the same energy remains, the awe of the magic itself, and the phenomenal synergy between the evocative text and enchanting illustrations.
The consistency throughout the book of the deep crimson and purplish hues and etched-like paint set behind illuminating whites of the rabbit and the moon pair harmoniously with the emotive text. Andy Fackrell describes his colour palette, “Colour helped convey the emotional journey; the red earth implied rawness of emotion, the Prussian blue night reflected loneliness, but the time Alby and Ziggy spent together was brought to life with exuberant complimentary hues.” Both the illustrations and the words surprise, delight and render hearts with this story of Ziggy the rabbit and his beloved companion, The Amazing Albertino.
We are first introduced to a somewhat forlorn Ziggy, and those Aussie mates who end up being his saviours, before his mind is cast back to memories of performing in magic shows with the marvellous, magnificent magician. Just like their audiences, we are wowed by their dazzling flower tricks and disappearing (and re-appearing) acts. We are stunned by the captive moments that Ziggy and Alby share pondering the moon, silhouetted against the transforming phases our bright and beautiful ‘dusty old rock covered in craters’ offers us each and every night. But now, Ziggy waits, moon phase after moon phase, for Alby to return from his own disappearing trick. What has gone wrong? Owl and friends explain the power of Alby’s last trick – where his energy has transformed into other forms, like the moon, stars, flowers, the breeze, and in his heart, offering Ziggy his own form of peace and solace, wherever he may be in the world. It’s truly a heart-warming and touching moment.
The Rabbit’s Magician truly touches every part of your soul. This poignant and comforting tale turns a sensitive topic like grief into magical kinds of energy – love, friendship and wonder. It entrances readers on many levels, opening discussions around Health, Science, The Arts and Humanities. This is one picture book that simply must be seen to be believed and treasured in every home and school setting.
Review by Romi Sharp.
Watch the absolutely MAGNIFICENT book trailer created by illustrator and film maker, Andy Fackrell!
Visit Shae Millward at her website: shaemillward.com
Andy Fackrell can be found at Andy Fackrell.
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