Song Of the Golden Hare
Author and Illustrator: Jackie Morris
The Song of the Golden Hare
Unlike other families who hunt the hares, this family is special. They are guardians of the Golden Hare. The golden queen will choose her mate by the beauty of his song. Their child will take her place as queen and she will leave the world of humans, journeying to the golden isle across the sea. This happens only every fifty years or so making the queen a somewhat mystical creature of unknown powers.
Grandfather seeks out the orphaned leverets who survive the hunt and raises them until they are old enough to be released. He knows the secret power of the hares song and sings strange soft melodies to them.
He knows that one special hare must win the queens heart to continue the cycle. Any of these orphans might be ‘the one’ and his songs give them a chance too.
His two grandchildren also listen to the songs. They know that the most dangerous time in the cycle of regeneration is when the queen leaves her mate and child to travel to the isle.
And so when the hares begin to run across the land to the gathering where they will sing their songs to the queen, the children follow ready to act as the queens protectors.
But they are not alone. A hunter and his dogs follow too. Her golden skin is said to bring riches and health. They wait many months while the children guard the queen and her family, waiting until the queen leaves and become vulnerable.
The power of song, of finding ones voice and place are all strong themes in this story.
The pictures are rich and vibrant, their warmth reflecting the love and wildness within the story. An unusual ending carries this narrative to its closure.
A light and poetically phrased tale which wraps the hares age old connection to rebirth and fertility with the magic of song.
Some parts feel as if they have a lot more story behind them which has not been told.
This tale feels less developed than some of Jackie Morris’ other books and leaves you guessing at why some elements were included.
Perhaps the golden seal who helps the queen to the island is another golden queen of its own kind? How did the children survive in the wild for such a long period? Why did the hunter wait months until later in summer to attack? How did grandfather learn the songs? How did the hares know the children were the guardians? Why did the dogs follow the children home? Where did the hunter go? Are these representations of deeper concepts? How do you explain these things to children if they ask?
If you take this story as a magical environmental fable with delightful artwork then the themes of magic, song and the interwoven connection of all things can perhaps rise above these puzzling elements.
Visit the Artist’s site to read more on her inspiration for the story.
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- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
- Publication Date:2013
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847804500
- ISBN-13: 978-1847804501
- Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 22.8 x 1.4 cm
- Age Range: 5-9 years
Jackie Morris talks about her books The Seal Children and Tell Me A Dragon, which gives an insight into her drawing and writing styles.
“I would like a grandfather clock that chimes the hour and has a big key to wind it up. It would sit in my studio and when I have painted for six hours I would get up to make tea and wind back time, because what I need more than anything is more hours in the day.”