Story-time is always a fun time, but for some parents in the US, banning a fictional gay bunny is their idea of a way to spend time with their children.
‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,’ authored by Jill Twiss, is a parody book centered around US Vice President Mike Pence‘s family rabbit.
But the story of a young male rabbit discovering he’s gay has ended up near the top of the American Library Association’s list of the most challenged books of 2018.
Why are people banning the bunny?
The book is a spoof of a real life book, Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President. A children’s book by the VP’s daughter Charlotte Pence.
Marlon Bundo is BOTUS, or the Bunny of the United States. He even has his own Instagram account.
Just a day before Pence‘s own storybook was set to appear on shelves, this LGBTI-friendly spoof beat it to it in early 2018.
When fluffy Marlo, complete with rainbow bow tie, falls for a male hare called Wesley, it quickly becomes a love story for the ages.
Marlon and Wesley decide to get hitched so they never have to hop without one another again.
But as the bunnies bounce to tell all their buddies about the news, a stink bug yells at them. Informing the pair of hares they can only marry female rabbits.
However, the animals of the woodland vote to kick out stink bug and legalize same-sex bunny marriage.
What book was No. 1?
This is all a satirical take-off of Pence’s own antagonistic view of marriage equality. The satire earned it 347 challenges to the ALA.
Such challenges are defined as formal requests for libraries or schools to remove a book.
The only book to top it was Alex Gino’s George, a story about a trans child.
Bunny of the United States
But between people digging the tale of love and those challenging it, some of the book’s fan may surprise you.
I have bought his book,’ she said. ‘He’s giving proceeds of the book to charity, and we’re also giving proceeds of our book to charity, so I really think that we can all get behind it.’
Proceeds from Oliver’s book goes to The Trevor Project and AIDS United. Meanwhile, the Pence family book donates to the art program Tracy’s Kids as well as A21, which fights human trafficking.
‘It doesn’t have to be divisive,’ Charlotte added. ‘I think that everybody can come together over Marlon. I also want to support those charities — I really mean that.’