Bunches of Bunnies: Fabulous Picture Books about Rabbits
Who can resist a sweet little bunny? Sometimes mischievous, sometimes quiet and gentle, bunnies are frequent picture book stars. Here are some of my favorite fiction and nonfiction picture books about bunnies. All of these titles are in print and should be available from your local library or favorite bookstore. Those titles available from The Global Baby are linked below.
Borrowing Bunnies: A Surprising True Tale of Fostering Rabbits by Cynthia Lord, with photographs by John Bald and illustrations by Hazel Mitchell (2019)
Newbery Honor winner Cynthia Lord brings her literary talent to this nonfiction picture book about a family of rescue bunnies that she and her family fostered. This is a sweet story about the ups, downs, and surprises of pet ownership. After reading it and looking at all of the adorable photographs, don’t be surprised if your little one asks to foster a bunny, too!
This clever, silly, and very fun book presents a simple visual puzzle—a drawing that can be either a duck or a rabbit depending on the way you look at it. The two narrators spend the entire story debating the identity of this creature and trying to convince each other that they are right. This is a read-aloud hit, as little ones decide for themselves what they are seeing and giggle over the narrators’ bickering.
Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Garth Williams (1956)
In this classic celebration of spring, a bunny sets out to find a home of his own. He asks each of the animals he meets along the way about their homes, but not until he meets another bunny does he find the perfect home. From the author of Goodnight Moon and the illustrator of favorites like Charlotte’s Web and the Little House books, this gentle, comforting story is a perfect read-aloud.
I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom, illustrated by Richard Scarry (1963)
In this simple story, a bunny describes what he likes about each of the seasons. Originally a Little Golden Book, the board book version currently in print is perfect for babies.
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson (2015)
A rabbit and a mouse grow a beautiful vegetable garden, but when a group of birds comes to have a snack, will the rabbit and mouse choose selfishness or kindness? The text of this story is spare but elegant, and the pictures are quite simply incredible. Kadir Nelson’s cast of animals is realistically painted yet hilarious, their emotions clearly telegraphed on their evocative faces. This is a modern-day classic.
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes (2011)
As Little White Rabbit goes out for a stroll one beautiful spring day, he wonders what it would feel like to be green like the grass he passes, tall like the trees, unmoving like the rock, or fluttery like the butterflies. Renowned author/illustrator Kevin Henkes perfectly captures small children’s curiosity about the world around them through Little White Rabbit’s adventures. The simple text and absolutely gorgeous, pastel-hued illustrations are a wonderful combination.
Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry (1942)
Oliver the cat lives by himself with Miss Tilly and never goes outside. In fact, he’s never even seen another animal. So, when Miss Tilly brings a tiny white rabbit named Marshmallow home, Oliver doesn’t know what to think. At first, he’s scared; then he thinks Marshmallow might be fun to pounce on. But eventually, Oliver is so charmed by Marshmallow’s joyful scamperings and trust in him that he adopts the bunny and brings him up as his own kitten. This 1943 Caldecott Honor winner comes from one of my all-time favorite picture book illustrators, Clare Turlay Newberry, whose stories and animal drawings are heartwarming and always a joy to read.
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2002)
No matter what Mr. McGreely does to keep his vegetable garden safe, three tenacious bunnies find their way in. As his attempts get more serious, their antics get even sillier. The refrains of "Tippy, Tippy, Tippy, Pat" and "Muncha, Muncha, Muncha" (and the humorous illustrations) make this a fun read-aloud. This was always a favorite of mine for preschool story times when I was working as a children’s librarian.
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt (1940)
This is the original touch-and-feel book. Little ones love touch-and-feel books—books that include textured materials and other interactive elements. I remember being fascinated with Pat the Bunny as a young child, and it continues to capture the attention of babies today.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (2018)
When something sad happens to little Taylor, a menagerie of animals steps in to solve the problem. But none of them makes Taylor feel any better. Then a rabbit joins him and does what no one else has done—he listens. Cori Doerrfeld’s sweet, touching illustrations capture how we all feel when confronting a serious disappointment, and her simple (sometimes humorous) text reminds us what it means to be a friend.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902)
The mischievous Peter Rabbit runs into trouble when he ignores his mother's warning and goes into Mr. McGregor's garden. Adults who remember Beatrix Potter's twenty-three classic animal stories from their own childhood will also remember the magic of Potter's illustrations and the charm of the volumes’ small size.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, illustrated by William Nicholson (1922)
The Velveteen Rabbit arrives in the Boy’s Christmas stocking, one of many toys that is briefly adored and then added to the toy cupboard. Then another toy is lost, and the Rabbit becomes the Boy’s favorite—he sleeps with the Boy, they play outside together, and the Boy even announces that he is real. When the Boy gets very sick, the Rabbit never leaves his side, but once the Boy is well, the doctor declares that all his toys must be burned. That is when the Nursery Fairy steps in to make the Velveteen Rabbit, finally, a real rabbit. This beautiful, classic story is rightfully beloved by children and adults. It’s rather lengthy (as the above synopsis probably makes clear), but it’s a great read-aloud story for older preschool and early elementary children.
White Rabbit’s Colors by Alan Baker (1994)
In this classic book of colors, White Rabbit discovers three pots of paint—red, yellow, and blue—and experiments with color mixing by taking a swim in the paints. The adorable illustrations of the colorful bunny make this a delightful read.
The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by Douglas Florian, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez (2016)
With delightful rhymes and joyful illustrations, this story follows a family of rabbits through their daily (and seasonal) adventures, culminating with a bedtime story and a hug and kiss.