picture books on shadows


The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers


Hans and Matilda by Yokococo.


theblackrabbitThe Black Rabbit is a hilarious shadow story, and I’m not giving much away by saying that.


Clever kids will quickly figure out who’s really following that little white rabbit, but it’ still fun to see him finally figure it out.




I love, too, that the once foreboding black rabbit is actually benevolent and helpful when white rabbit is in trouble. It’s like we need those shadow selves; at times they come in handy!








9781848772137Hans and Matilda is a shadow story as well, but in a different way.


Matilda was a good little cat; Hans was a naughty little cat.


“They were SO different!”






And they were different, like night and day really. But the thing is, and I don’t want to completely give it away, but I’m going to . . . [SPOILER ALERT]:


Hans and Matilda are the same cat! I love how this speaks to the different facets of ourselves and I think it’s something children can really relate to: being so good sometimes and so naughty sometimes but still being the same person. (Adults are sure to appreciate that too.)







Thanks to Candlewick for the images!



MATILDA AND HANS. Copyright © 2012 by Yokococo. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Templar Publishing, UK.

THE BLACK RABBIT. Copyright © 2013 by Philippa Leathers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.



/ / / / / / /

So …  shadows and shadow play! How fun is this!




Su Owen‘s incredible papercut shadow puppets.


Hand Shadows Puppet Poster.



Templates from the always amazing Mini Eco.


DIY bedtime story puppets from Handmade Charlotte.


DIY flashlight with a soda can and cereal box (I’m thinking some experience necessary on that one!)



This charming LOVE YOU nightlight by Houseyhome.


Moulin Roty Dinosaur shadow puppets.


“Hand Made” wallpaper by Paper Boy. What a trip!


Where The Wild Things Are inspired shadow puppets from Olive and B!


Here’s to shadows, our own and the puppet variety! 

12 Responses to picture books on shadows

  1. Anna says:

    We really enjoyed The Black Rabbit as well; I love the concept of Hans and Matilda. I’m thinking it will be great for E, especially – on the to the library website to find it! And the shadow puppets – so much fun to be had there. Thanks, Danielle!

  2. Feels like you wrote this post for me! Love The Black Rabbit and I don’t know Hans and Matilda yet! And I adore silhouettes – do you know Fiep Westendorp’s work?

    • Aw. I’m so glad to hear that, Julie! It might be my favorite post yet. 🙂
      I didn’t know Fiep Westendorp so I’m so glad you mentioned her! Just a quick look tells me I could become obsessed with her work—thanks for that! Is she an influence of yours?

      • Yes, I may not understand the language she illustrated for, and I still don’t know why much hasn’t been translated/available here. I follow some kind of trust/fb page to be reminded of the elegance of her work!

  3. Elegance indeed! And joy too! Thanks so much for the recommendation!!

  4. Thanks Julie for the Fiep W recommendation. I just fell head over heels for the Pim en Pom’s Great Adventure trailer! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR_nR46J3I8

    Wonderful post Danielle!

  5. Ronna Mandel says:

    I ADORE shadow, shadow play and have been doing shadow stuff since I was little and had a nightlight. I figured out how to make my knuckles resemble George Washington on my bedroom wall! You are so very creative and I’m going to share this link on Twitter because I love it so much. Great book selections, too. THANKS.

    • Okay, clearly you were an expert hand shadow puppeteer! Love that George Washington maneuver. Thanks so very much, Ronna—means a lot to me.

      p.s. I was at Writers Day Saturday too but didn’t run into you. Next time!

  6. Sara O'Leary says:

    Great post, Danielle. Pretty clear that the new Elly Mackay Shadow Chasers book is going to be one for you!
    I love those Wild Rumpus cut outs that you found. Very clever!

Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.