This is the last book by much-loved illustrator and author Judith Kerr, who died in May at 95. Based on a real episode when her family looked after the school rabbit, this story, like Kerr’s Mr Cleghorn’s Seal, is for newly confident readers, and has softly shaded pencil illustrations... Gently satirical about the theatrical profession, apparently set when Kerr’s children were young, and using the first names of her brother, father, husband and publisher, this seems to turn happy memories into a fond farewell.
Miraculously, [Kerr's] drawing style is almost unchanged from The Tiger Who Came to Tea: the mother here has lovely familiar rounded lines, especially in her dressing gown, and the cast of characters, having escaped modernity, looks just the same as in the early books. The picture of our narrator and the rabbit exchanging sour looks is quite brilliant. The author was a genius, with an affectionate sensibility. The deceptive simplicity of her stories and her capacity to see things from a child’s point of view were very rare gifts. Thank you, Judith Kerr.
There is this same sense of simplicity, of modesty, in every Kerr book up to and including The Curse of the School Rabbit. Not a word of the text is wasted. Not a single pencil stroke in the illustrations is out of place. There is no showing off here; no aim, apparently, other than to amuse and entertain. Events are most often viewed from the purest perspective, that of a child, one who understands more than most adults realise and accepts more than any adult can.