Region: Western Europe, Austria
Authors: Felix Salten
Original Language: German
Translator: Whittaker Chambers
Genre: Animal Stories
Descriptors: animals; danger; hunters; forest; rabbits; survival; woods
Age: 10-13 years old
From the author of the beloved Bambi, Felix Salten, comes the story of Fifteen Rabbits; written in 1929, it depicts the life of a small rabbit as he grows up in the forest. This anthropomorphized tale of woodland creatures is a heart-wrenching and grim portrayal of what these animals are subjected to in the forest: hunted by foxes and hawks, starving, caught in traps, and shot by human hunters. The main rabbit is aptly named Hops, and the story starts as they are just small bunnies in the springtime eating and playing together. Hops and his best friend Plana quickly learn that there is much danger in a rabbit’s life; even though they are harmless, they constantly need to be alert for predators around them. All animals share a language, and there is dialogue between the rabbits, squirrels, birds and the elk who share the forest and also look out for their own survival. If the reader searches for a sweet story about animals loving each other and living in harmony, pass over this book. Many scenes detail the death of rabbits who are all growing up together and who fall into misfortune. Hops does not have the protection of his mother or father either, as his mother has told him from a young age that his father was a very jealous rabbit and would kill Hops if he discovered that he was his son. The female rabbits in the book are all portrayed as caddy, lacking intelligence, and possessing less courage than their male counterparts. Plana is often telling Hops that she is not as smart as he is. Felix Salten was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1869 with his birth name being Siegmund Salzmann. His family moved to Vienna when he was a baby, and as a young adult he wrote short stories and newspaper features under the name of Felix Salten. A Jew, he fled the Nazis to Switzerland in 1939 where he remained for the rest of his life in Zurich and died in 1945, not long after the end of World War II.
More About This Book
Reviewed: eBook by Aladdin (2015). ISBN 1442487567. 77 pages.
Reviewed by Laney Jones