Bun Bun is a tiny rabbit found and adopted by the author’s granddaughter Candice. When he takes it with him to Door County for an almost 4 month vacation, the little rabbit gets into many adventures with the other cottage kids. This is a narration of those adventures helped along with pretty pictures in colour dotted across the pages.
The book starts off like a narration of a journal. Candice is introduced as if we already know her. This made me think that this book is more suitable for kids around 10 years of age, who can read by themselves and who can understand that rapid shift in time and person. But, the conversation that followed between Candice and her grandfather was one between a five year old and a doting old man with its exclusive charm of innocence. This shift between tones is seen throughout the book which left me a little confused about the target demographic.
The story is simple in that there’s not much of a story. It’s a record of Bun Bun the bunny’s little adventures as it becomes one of the cottage kids over the course of a holiday season. What I liked the most is the consistently realistic portrayal of what keeping a pet entails. From potty-training to boundaries to playtime, everything becomes a carefully conducted activity and that is captured perfectly in pen. There is no anthropomorphising of Bun Bun apart from the usual levels of communication between man and animal and that made it easy for me, since I find animals behaving like humans kind of disconcerting; brings about memories of Animal Farm.
The children, their games and the adorableness of the bunny are complemented beautifully by the captured photos and further lend credence to this “almost a true story”. However, I think re-editing is required to correct the formatting and punctuation errors I came across during the read.
BOTTOMLINE: My recommendation is that it’s a book for 9-12 year olds. Kids at that age are just growing into themselves while being acutely aware of their environment. It’s usually at this age that they would ask for a pet too. In that case, I recommend that you ask them to read this book because it covers the story of Bun Bun from the time Candice adopts it to the time the rabbit is released into the wild. Knowing how to say goodbye to one’s pet is difficult, but, maybe, this book can give them some idea about that inevitable future.