"I Am Still a Bunny" by Ole Risom (not)

Minh Le of Bottom Shelf Books and Farida of Saints and Spinners are collaborating on a unique blog contest: Unnecessary Children's Book Sequels that Never Were.

Here is my entry:

"I Am Still a Bunny" by Ole Risom. We've already spent one fun-filled year with Nicholas the Bunny. Now the cute rabbit takes another trip through the seasons, in which he continues to be a passive, isolated observer of the pageant of life. "In spring, I watch other animals making friends." Children will be comforted by the fact that flowers still bloom, leaves still fall, and Nicholas is still watching them.

Tell me you weren't dying to know what didn't happen to Nicholas next.

I feel this sequel is so unnecessary that the same cover can be used again:

This is actually one of my favorite picture books of all time. Would that more of us were like Nicholas.

Hilary McKay, however, does not share my opinion. Here is her description (from The Exiles):

"Pheobe had decided on...a story about a rabbit named Nicholas who lived, unnaturally, in a hollow tree. In spring this animal watched the flowers grow; in summer he spoke once, briefly, to a bee; in autumn he detachedly observed the falling of the leaves; and in winter, with the first deep snow, he put on striped pajamas and went to bed.

And died of boredom, thought Naomi, discarding Nicholas."

Either McKay did not look at the book before writing this, or the UK edition is different. Two things are wrong in this synopsis...


  1. This is one of my favorite, favorite childhood books. I discovered in later years that Risom wrote a series - I am a mouse, I am a puppy, etc. but they have different illustrators (good illustrators, just different)

  2. I did not know that! I'm not sure I'll look for them, though, because I am a Bunny is so dear to me I don't want it dilluted...

  3. We used to have these books in the library branch where I worked a million years ago. (Okay, it was 2001.) The head children's librarian was of the old school "Keep all the out of print classics, even though we're taping the pages together!" Her successor did what the collection development person had wanted all along, which was discard ratty books. The I am a Bunny, Mouse, etc. all went the way that tattered books go.

    Thanks for participating in this contest! It has been fun seeing what's rolling in, and this is only day 2.

  4. oh my goodness, does this book take me back and back and back. a jolt to the heart, Charlotte.

  5. Don't know the bunny book, but I am such a Hilary McKay (or rather, Casson family) fan! I love your sequel, especially the use of the same cover. What are Friday nights for, if not to read stuff like this?


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