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  • Published: 1 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241988534
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download

Fierce Bad Rabbits

The Tales Behind Children's Picture Books

A nostalgic and eye-opening journey through our best-loved picture books, from Peter Rabbit to The Gruffalo

Brought to you by Penguin.

What is The Tiger Who Came toTea 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?

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 Julia Donaldson, Clare Pollard shines a light on some of our best-loved childhood stories and what they really mean, weaving in tales from her own childhood and her re-readings as a parent. 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 will make you see even stories you've read a hundred times afresh.

  • Published: 1 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241988534
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download

Praise for Fierce Bad Rabbits

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

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

This book is a happy way to reconnect with old friends


An enlightening, perceptive analysis of the books that build us

Sunday Telegraph, 5 star review

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

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


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


Pollard so delicately enters into the world of [picture books] that the reader feels they are rediscovering once-loved landscapes

New Statesman


Daily Mail Book of the Week

A celebration of picture books and their artists to spark your own childhood memories

Evening Standard

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