The power of bibliotherapy – therapists often ask me to recommend books to use with clients facing the curve balls life throws at them. How about a book for Loss? Trauma? Friendship? Empathy? Listening?
“The Rabbit Listened” is my new “go to” book for these topics and more. It is beautifully illustrated and speaks directly to children and grownups alike. It is also gender neutral.
Taylor had patiently created a beautiful block-tower, only to see it destroyed by a flock of blackbirds. The child is understandably devastated by the destruction. Each of his well-meaning animal friends recognizes Taylor’s sadness and offer advice to help him/her feel better.
Taylor rejects the chicken’s suggestion to talk about it. He rejects bears recommendation to scream out his anger and declines the hyena’s suggestion to laugh his sadness away. It is the rabbit who helps Taylor find his way through the loss. How? Rabbit models what anyone experiencing loss craves – having someone be truly present and available to actively listen. Ultimately, Taylor reaches out and tries the coping techniques his friends had suggested enabling Taylor to begin rebuilding the tower.
As I’ve often said,
storybooks speak to the child in every one of us.
We all benefit from having someone who is genuinely present and listens. We are reminded that we are never too young or too old practice “rabbit speak.”
DeeDee Ginns Gruenberg, RPT-S