Jolly Roger

Children’s books, the next platform for political jabs

Natalie Agnew, Hook Editor

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By now, everyone has probably heard of the saga of the two bunny books, each written about Mike Pence’s bunny, Marlon Bundo.

“I woke up all alone. Then I ate a fine bunny breakfast all alone, while I watched the news. . . all alone.”

No, this isn’t a story about Donald Trump, rather a day in the life of the official White House rabbit that belongs to the Pence family. Trump couldn’t handle the responsibility of taking care of a pet.

So begins a children’s book about Pence’s bunny created by John Oliver to mock Pence by highlighting everything that is wrong with Pence’s personality and political views.

A Day in the Life of the Vice President written by Pence’s daughter Charlotte and illustrated by the Second Lady, Karen Pence details a day in the life of the family pet bunny, Marlon Bundo. Bundo is the BOTUS, which could easily stand for someone else in the White House other than the “Bunny of the United States of America.” His day consists of mindlessly following and worshipping Mike Pence during a typical day at work.  

Pence’s book can only be described as mediocre. The 40-page tale drags on through a rhyme scheme that a kindergartener could have written, accompanied by dull watercolor paintings. The reverence at which it describes Pence’s work and the story’s repetitive nature, make it boring even for children.  

The one good thing there is to say about this book is that the proceeds go to A21, an anti-human trafficking organization, and to the Riley Hospital for Children, in Indianapolis. The only conceivable reasons that someone would buy it would be to make themselves fall asleep, a book version of a sleeping pill, or maybe thought they were buying the other Bundo Book.

On that same day, Oliver released A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by E.G. Keller. The proceeds got to the Trevor Project and AIDS United. It tells of how Bundo is all alone, until one day he meets the love of his life, a beautiful boy bunny named Wesley. After working together with their friends to vote the Stink Bug off the podium, who stands in the way, they get married

It triumphs where the original is lacking. Oliver succeeds in publishing an entertaining story that appeals to children and adults alike, while also maintaining an underlying message of acceptance and hope. At its heart it’s a political satire, a point that will be missed by young children, but the main lesson is that love conquers all, a sentiment that all can appreciate.

As of now, Oliver’s version is only available on Amazon and it averages a 4.9-star review out of almost 6,000 reviews, read the one stars for fans who leave them to scare off negative haters looking for validation of their opinion.  It is also available on Audible as an audiobook narrated by Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ellie Kemper, and RuPaul, to name a few.

Finishing with the theme of the book in the words of Scooter the Turtle.

“Everyone is different. And different is not bad.”  

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Children’s books, the next platform for political jabs