Sunday, March 25, 2012
Review: The Easter Bunny That Grew Up
When Gretta Parker lost her beloved rabbit Flopsy this past December, she did what many of us rabbit moms want to do but somehow never have the time, courage, or emotional will to do--turn his life into a call to help all rabbits who need a home and are facing almost certain euthanasia in shelters. Gretta was doing this before Flopsy died, of course. Her brilliant photography skills enabled her to put his sweet face on creative and eye-catching posters promoting rabbit adoptions and responsible rabbit care. I myself have Flopsy pajamas (visit her CafePress store) and Flopsy's face peers out at me every morning from my fridge on the "Carrot Thug 4 Life" image. She also founded a nonprofit group, Baskets for Bunnies, which donates toys to rabbits awaiting homes in shelters and rescue groups (you can get to it via a link on this blog, in the upper right corner.)
Then December 28, 2011 came and the world lost all too soon its spokesbun for all rabbitdom. I,like so many of Flopsy's followers on Facebook, was heartbroken. (I myself would keenly feel Gretta's pain two days later when my beloved Boo died very unexpectedly.) He was so special, this lionhead bun whose face had truly become representative of all rabbits--truly he was the first bun to become a celebrity for his kind.
The book THE EASTER BUNNY THAT GREW UP (published by AuthorHouse) is not only Flopsy's story, as charmingly written by Gretta Parker herself, but it is perhaps the story of most rabbits these days who are given up by people who adopt these animals but who never had a clue or took the time to provide their rabbit their care and love they require. Complete with moving illustrations by Maya Tolliver and photos of Flopsy, the story is told from Flopsy's point of view (a perspective, I would argue, more people need to take into consideration before they bring a rabbit into their home). The story follows Flopsy when, as a bunny named Marshmallow, he is given up by a family and left at a shelter, only to be found by Gretta, who gives him a new home (and a lovely companion named Bella). Gretta takes his story up to the sad day when he leaves for the Rainbow Bridge, and it is hard not to cry when reading this. But look at Flopsy's legacy - in so many ways, this is a happy story because more people now have a better understanding of rabbits. I urge everyone--if you know anyone who is contemplating adopting a rabbit or getting one for their children, if you know any children who are clamoring for a bunny, PLEASE PLEASE get them this book, and consider the message Gretta's book imparts. The greatest tribute to Flopsy would be for people to make wise sensible decisions in adopting a rabbit AND for the right people to seek out and make a lifelong commitment to that special furry companion waiting for a family at a rescue or shelter.