Hippity-hop! It's springtime in Oakland, and I thought we could celebrate with a chat about bunnies, the official animal of spring. I don't know why the vernal equinox gets everyone thinking about rabbits. Scientific data exists that shows they do, in fact, exist at other times of the year.
Also, bunnies are really not sweet and gentle and cute as the books below would have you believe. They are kind of vicious. Have you read Watership Down? If you haven't, you really should. It's one of my childhood favorites. At one point, I considered myself fluent in the language the author invented for the book, so if you read it, maybe you can come by and we can have a conversation in Lapine. Anyway, the rabbits in that book killed each other pretty easily and often, so much so that if you do a Google image search for "Watership Down," the first subset that pops up is labeled "Violence" and filled with graphic stills from the 2002 animated feature film.
We could talk all day about murderous bunnies and whether being a proud eleven-year-old speaker of Lapine is even nerdier than speaking Klingon. But if we do that, I might start looking for internet forums for Lapine fanatics and forget all about showing you some nice cute picture books about bunnies. Without further ado, here are some of my favorites:
The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
This book is perfection itself. I have seen tough, streetwise small kids' minds BLOWN when the mother bunny becomes the wind and pursues her little runaway over the ocean. True story: Margaret Wise Brown, who was awesome, was miffed that her editor didn't like the original ending and suggested she add something. She wrote back, sassily, "Have a carrot." And that became the last line of the book.
Bunny Days, by Tao Nyeu
Look out for the goat in this book. Whenever he appears, you know there's about to be trouble! But don't worry--Bear will fix everything. This one's a real charmer with wonderful, simple artwork.
Father Fox's Pennyrhymes, by Clyde Watson and Wendy Watson
So technically, this is a book about foxes. But as foxes are often depicted being buddies with their prey, many of the delightful ink-and-watercolor illustrations in this book of poems include rabbits. I own a piece of furniture that's lacquered with pages from this book, and I've used it as reference art for a sizeable tattoo. It's sweet and comforting, great for a bedtime readaloud. By the way, if you were wondering, Clyde and Wendy Watson aren't married--they're sisters.
Did you find something you want to read yet? Maybe your tastes run to the political, in which case you might like Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, by Duncan Tonatiuh. Told in the manner of a folktale, this allegorical tale is a story of crossing the US-Mexico border.
And I'll end with a little PSA: if you're thinking about getting a pet bunny, please hop over to the House Rabbit Society first and do some reading. Rabbits are complicated little creatures, and they don't make good pets for everyone, especially families with small children. If you've done your research and you're sure a bun is the pet for you, you can adopt one from Oakland Animal Services.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get in your Hrududu* and come to the library for Hrair** books!