Easter is behind us but rabbits are still a constant focus in my house. There’s the dog called Rabbit of course. But now there’s a new one. An actual, official rabbit called Mr Bunley Hopkins who has come to live with us in Ilkley today. Here he is (with a bonus photo of the original Rabbit to ensure there is no jealousy between them as they get to know each other)…
It may simply be a Beatrix Potter style affectation, but my pets (and often other people’s) are an intrinsic part of what inspires me to write children’s stories.
(As are rabbits in general come to think of it… I have my own story with them which I am always more than happy to relate to anyone who asks… and often to people who don’t.)
This rabbit – Mr Hopkins that is – is named after my favourite poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins. If you haven’t read any of his writing – Manley Hopkins that is – you’re in for a treat. If he’s an old friend of yours, you’ll understand why I’m a fan.
Rabbits don’t feature in the poet Hopkins’ writing… but I’m not the only author to find their look, movement and personalities inspiring.
Here are some of my favourite rabbity-reads… you might like to explore them too:
The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane – Kate DiCamillo
And of course… all The Tales of Beatrix Potter are incomparably magical. But especially the ones which feature bunnies!
I’m just about to read Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire which I understand to have been translated from the original ‘Rabbit’ Mrs. Bunny used by Polly Horvath. I’ll let you know if it gets a rave review from me and my rodents soon…
Right, I’m off to check in on how Mr Hopkins is settling in.