A Short & Sweet Book Review of a Short & Sweet Picture Book
“Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives at the Naval Observatory with his Grampa, the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon’s life is about to change forever…”~ Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss
And so begins a wonderful children’s book that has a felicitous message about acceptance, tolerance, advocacy, inclusion, and love– a message that echoes the month of June’s LGBTQ Pride events taking place across the nation. This book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo written by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller, is not to be confused with the book it so brilliantly trolls, Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice-President written by Charlotte Pence, illustrated by Karen Pence. Comedian John Oliver’s A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, released a day before the Pence penned book, has out-sold the Pence book by a good margin. On the day of its release, it skyrocketed to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list. And for good reason. It’s actually a fantastic children’s book and outshines its original intent: to send a politically pointed message to the Vice-President regarding his views of the LGBTQ community and his hostility to LGBTQ civil rights.
Our hero is a lonely bunny, in a large, stuffy old house. One day while out in the garden, Marlon Bundo meets his soul-mate Wesley and together they realize that their lives are not complete without one another. All of Marlon Bundo and Wesley’s friends support their soon-to-be nuptials except The Stink Bug, who is unfortunately in charge. Upset by The Stink Bug’s disdain for their same-sex relationship, the animals stop to consider what it means to be different. Instead of letting The Stink Bug place his narrow frame around “what should be” in regards to love and marriage, Marlon Bundo and his buddies realize that being outside of what The Stink Bug deems acceptable is actually quite normal and commonplace. Pumpernickel the Badger admits, “I am different too, I eat my sandwiches crust-first.” Mr. Paws, the dog, comes forward and says, “I am different too, sometimes I sniff butts and I don’t know why.” Together all the animals in the garden use their collective energy to remove The Stink Bug from his position of power and domination. As Marlon Bundo so aptly says, “Stink Bugs are temporary, Love is Forever.”
A wonderful message to empower all the little “bunnies who (have) ever felt different.” A bonus to adding this book to your collection of picture books is all proceeds go to AIDS United (whose mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States) and the Trevor Project (which focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth). I have given this book as a gift more than a few times already, and it has only been out since mid-March! So, in honor of LGBTQ pride, check out John Oliver’s A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, and share it with your friends and family!
Check out this interview with John Oliver and Seth Meyers from March 21st on Late Night with Seth Meyers