Kid Lit Has a Bunny Battle

Comedian John Oliver created a book about Vice President Mike Pence's family pet to challenge the one written by Pence's daughter Charlotte Pence.
One of the biggest stories in children’s publishing this week is a battle of bunny books. Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter Charlotte wrote Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President, a book that aims to educate kids about the vice presidency through the antics of the second family’s pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo. Her mother, the vice president's wife, Karen Pence, illustrated the book. But it turns out the Pences’s book wasn’t the only one written with their pet as the protagonist. Comedian and HBO show host John Oliver released another book about Marlon: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. Written by one of the show’s writers, Jill Twiss, with coauthor Marlon Bundo credited, and published by Chronicle, the Oliver version is a story of Marlon falling in love with another boy bunny. The plot is a shot at Vice President Pence, who has a history of opposing gay rights. When Marlon and Wesley announce their engagement to their animal friends, a stinkbug that bears a striking resemblance to Vice President Pence tells Marlon that boy bunnies can only marry girl bunnies. The stinkbug is in charge and tells Marlon that he is different, and different is not good. Soon the other animals tell each other why they are different, too. They then take a vote to decide who should be in charge of the animals and, therefore, who says who can get married. [SPOILER ALERT] They do not elect the stinkbug, and Marlon and Wesley’s love wins the day. Or, as the book ends, “Stink bugs are temporary. Love is forever.” Oliver announced the book on his HBO show on Sunday night and orders started coming in immediately. As of Wednesday, the Oliver book was sold out and No. 1 overall on Amazon, knocking former FBI director James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership out of the top spot. Comey was No. 2 on the list, while the Pences’s Marlon Bundo book was No. 4. Oliver's Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo audiobook, read by Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul, was Audible’s No. 1 best seller. In an appearance on Fox Business, Charlotte Pence was asked about the second Bundo book. “I mean, I think, you know, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery in a way,” she said. “But also, in all seriousness, his book is contributing to charities that I think we can all get behind. We have two books giving to charities that are about bunnies, so I’m all for it really.” Proceeds from the Last Week Tonight book will be donated to the Trevor Project, a charity for LGBTQ youth, and AIDS United. The Pences's are donating proceeds to A21, which works to end human trafficking, and Tracy’s Kids, a pediatric art therapy program. Regenery Kids, which published the Pences’s book, released a statement to CNN. “It’s unfortunate that anyone would feel the need to ridicule an educational children’s book and turn it into something controversial and partisan. Our and Mrs. and Charlotte Pence’s goal is—and will continue to be—to educate young readers about the important role of the vice president, as well as to highlight the charities to which portions of the book proceeds will be donated.”
Comments

Julia Lee

John Oliver is my hero.

Posted : Mar 24, 2018 02:19


Claudette Brown

Charlotte Pence's response on Fox News was so gracious given that the parody seems mean-spirited.

Posted : Mar 23, 2018 01:45


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