John Oliver, has published a book about a bunny who happens to be gay, and it is outselling Mike Pences’ rival children’s book about a bunny who is not gay. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, is a children’s book about a gay bunny, named after a pet rabbit owned by the family of Vice President Mike Pence Oliver. Oliver stressed that this isn’t just some adult parody middle finger to Pence, but a legitimate children’s book meant to entertain, inspire, and be read by kids. As a slap against Pence’s politicized homophobia, Oliver is giving all proceeds from the book to The Trevor Project and AIDS United. An audiobook version features the voices of Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and RuPaul.
via The Daily Beast
While hopping through his day as a pet of the vice president, Marlon Bundo spots another bunny named Wesley, and is smitten. “He was a big, fluffy bunny with the floppiest floppy ears and the bushiest tail. He was bunny-beautiful,” Marlon Bundo narrates. “I was standing still. But being near him made me feel like my heart was still hopping.”
Marlon and Wesley hopped around all day. At the end of the day, Marlon says, “Wesley, I don’t want to hop without you ever again.” Wesley says back, “That’s funny because I never want to hop without you, Marlon Bundo, ever again.” They decide to get married and hop together forever.
The illustrations are beautiful. You see the couple staring lovingly at each other next to a fire. You see them adorably holding hands. It’s love portrayed as matter-of-factly as it ever is when it’s between a boy and a girl in a children’s book, which is important. But there’s a political point to be made still, and the book makes it pretty powerfully.
While all of Marlon and Wesley’s friends cheer their decision to get married, the Stink Bug, who is in charge of all the animals and bears a not-so-subtle resemblance to Mike Pence, announces that boy bunnies are only allowed to marry girl bunnies. “You. Are. Different,” he shouts. “And. Different. Is. Bad.”
Marlon and Wesley are crestfallen. “But this is the Bunny I love,” Wesley says. Marlon says the same. “Just being next to Wesley made me a little braver,” he narrates, a description of love so simple and true that we defy your heart not to break.
Their friends rally around Marlon and Wesley, recognizing that each of them is different in their own way, and they devise a plan. They must vote the Stink Bug out of office so that love can win again.
As a stunt, this whole gay bunny book thing is a brilliant, headline-making gag to giggle over and applaud—trolling at its best, from John Oliver, the master of trolls. But as a book, it defies all of that. What a beautiful children’s book, with a simple message of love.
Image via The Loud Library Lady