Rabbit - What is it with Rabbits and Children's Books?
Rabbits have long been revered as a symbol of fertility, sexuality, purity and childhood. They are pets for children, and have been represented in almost every culture's myths, art and collectibles. The rabbit is one of the most popular animals known to mankind. They're known to be playful, quick, frisky, clever, smart, childish, fearless, innocent, interesting, and inquisitive, inspiring writers to creativity and introspection.
Peter Rabbit, The Velveteen Rabbit and Others
When we think about rabbits and children's books, especially for little ones, perhaps one of the first short stories about rabbits we consider is Beatrix Potter's book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Peter is a high-spirited bunny who is so loved because he is always a little bit naughty. For over 100 years, The Tale of Peter Rabbit has continued to be a popular short story about rabbits for little children. Another story that has been around for a long time is The Velveteen Rabbit. Written by Margery Williams and published in 1922, it is a story about a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner. It's a story about the power of love and has been a favorite of children for nearly 90 years. Found in books as children's story characters and even under "R" in the alphabet, rabbits carry the sense of innocence and fun. Peter Cottontail, in the stories of Thornton Burgess and Rabbit, in A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh series are examples of these character types.
Rabbits in the Movies
Rabbits, bunnies, and hares, make their appearances in all sorts of children's literature as well as in movies, games, folklore, and television shows. Disney made Br'er Rabbit famous many years ago in Song of the South and of course there was Thumper in the story of Bambi. Children's cartoons featuring rabbits abound, and what would a youngster's life be without rabbit jokes, like: Q. How do you catch a rabbit? A. Hide behind a tree and make a noise like a carrot.
The ones who love these jokes the most are the tellers of the joke!
Many rabbit activities for kids are based on the characters in these books. Crafts, puzzles, activity books and more are available for downloading at any one of several sites on the internet. The bulk of activities seem to be centered around Peter Rabbit, since he is such a familiar character to little children. There is, of course, Bugs Bunny, who has been around for ages and continues to make children giggle with his teasing and antics. Bunny rabbit games for kids are another expression of the love for these furry critters. Internet games that children can play online, board games, flashcards and even dancing the Bunny Hop, are just some of the neat bunny rabbit games to engage children.
Live Rabbits for Pets
In the Spring and during the Easter holiday season, bunnies and rabbits are abundant. Many children are given live rabbits as presents without having a clue how to raise and feed them. Rabbits are very social animals and would much prefer being in close proximity to their owners as opposed to living in a hutch, locked-up outdoors. There are several excellent books available with facts about rabbits for kids. Children can learn about these remarkable little animals in books and online. They'll learn that a male rabbit is called a buck and the female is a doe (just like deer). When a pregnant doe gives birth to a litter, it is called kindling and the average litter has four to eight kits or kittens in it that are born blind, deaf, and hairless. So many interesting facts about rabbits are available for kids in books and online. They make great object lessons and pets for the classroom as well.
Rabbits are safe and kids gravitate to stories about them because is some ways they can easily relate to the characters presented through the lives of these animals.