Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Random Wednesday: BUNNY RABBIT'S DIARY by Mary Frances Blaisdell

book cover
Original Publication Date: 1915

Genre: children's book

Topics: anthropomorphizing, adventure


In the interest of reading more obscure books for this blog, I decided to randomly select a few books and highlight them in a feature called Random Wednesday! To select the book, I randomly chose a letter of the alphabet, went to the Project Gutenberg page with all the author names starting with that letter, divided the page in to eighths and randomly chose a section, and then selected a book based on the title.

My first choice was Bunny Rabbit's Diary by Mary Frances Blaisdell, because I like bunnies (yes, I am THAT much of a grown-up). It's an illustrated children's book basically in the style of Wind in the Willows or Peter Rabbit. I'm not a huge fan of either, to be honest, but they're both a damn sight better than this book, which is snoregastic.

For a present, Bunny Rabbit received a journal made out of leaves and wrote down all his adventures with the other animals. Then he stuck it in a tree, where the author found it and transcribed it. How did Blaisdell read the tiny rabbit writing? I don't know.

The problem is, as Bunny Rabbit himself observed, he doesn't know how to write stories (also: why is he writing his own stories in the third person? Another mystery). All the stories are good beginnings, but they never go anywhere. For example, one time Bunny Rabbit and his other bunny friend are hanging out in a tree, when they see two humans. The humans want to cut down a tree! Bunny Rabbit wonders why, and a sparrow tells him it's for Christmas, and explains what a Christmas tree is. Bunny Rabbit is intrigued, so he follows the humans to their house to see a Christmas tree for himself.

bunny rabbit seeing a christmas tree

The end.

See what I mean? This is the START of a story. In any other decent book I can think of, this would be the set up for a series of hi-larious hijinks undoubtedly involving either a cat or dog, trashcans, being chased around the kitchen by a knife-wielding cook, and the children wanting to adopt him as a pet. In Bunny Rabbit's Diary, it's THE ENTIRE STORY.

I was also less than impressed with the illustrations.

So, if you're in the mood to read a book about a rabbit, I'd stick with Peter Rabbit.