Borrowing Bunnies: A Surprising True Tale of Fostering Rabbits
by Cynthia Lord
photographs by John Bald
illustrations by Hazel Mitchell
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019
Cynthia Lord has made a name for herself as the award-winning author of middle grade fiction including Rules and Touch Blue. She also penned the popular picture book series, Hot Rod Hamster and the Shelter Pet Squad chapter book series.
I was intrigued last year the I read that Lord was working on a nonfiction picture book with her husband, photographer John Bald. If you follow Lord on social media or have attended one of her author events, you know that she has a soft spot for animals. Borrowing Bunnies is the first person account of what it's like to foster rabbits placed with Lord's family from an animal shelter. The narrative focuses on Benjamin and Peggotty, a pair of Netherland Dwarf bunnies fostered by Lord's family. It wasn't long before Peggotty gave birth to four baby bunnies. Can you say cuteness overload?
Bald's adorable, close-up photographs show the bunnies sleeping, eating and exploring the house. After the baby bunnies were born, Lord invited local illustrators to visit her home to sketch and paint the bunnies. The illustrations painted by Hazel Mitchell during her visit are placed thoughtfully throughout the book. After reading Lord's account of caring for a family of bunnies, many children will want to foster bunnies of their own. However, the final two-page spread gives readers some advice and questions to answer and consider before bringing a new pet into the home.
Borrowing Bunnies is sure to fly off the shelves in libraries, and it's the perfect gift book for young pet levers. It would also make a wonderful read aloud, but be aware that one of the baby bunnies doesn't survive. Teachers could use Borrowing Bunnies as a mentor text for helping young students craft their own personal narrative stories.