Shulamith Levey Oppenheim

 

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Cyd Moore illustration from I Love You Bunny Rabbit

I Love You Bunny Rabbit

I Love You, Bunny Rabbit

Illustrated by Cyd Moore
1995, Boyd's Mill Press

Micah came along, a brother for Noah. By then, my younger son Paul had a son, Nathan, and I wrote Fireflies for Nathan, published by Tambourine Books. It was clearly time for a Micah book. A grandmother must be fair, first and foremost, and that doll, endeared also to me by all its travails, was still haunting a back burner!

Then (who can say where core ideas really come from) one day the doll transformed itself into a rabbit and I heard a child's voice whisper in my ear "I love you, Bunny Rabbit." The book emerged, nearly whole cloth, and I decided to call the boy Micah. By then Nathan had a brother Jonas, and his book, published by Boyds Mills Press, is called What is the Full Moon Full Of?

I can't say that the character of Micah gave me the Micah of the book directly, that is. But there are clear similarities. Micah is a beautiful, sunny, bright, amusing, gregarious boy of five who sees the world as a joyous wonderland. And so he has continued. Does this sound like a grandmother? Absolutely.

Reviews:

Hi Ms. Oppenheim,
I had the pleasure of meeting you a handful of years ago when one of my professors at UMass invited you to speak to our small children's literature course. There you signed a few books for me, one of them was I Love You, Bunny Rabbit. I just have to thank you for that book. It is my 2 year old daughter's favorite! She takes it to the table when she's eating her lunch, she brings it to bed with her at night, and when she's upset, she cries for her "bunny rabbit book". It's like your book is her very own bunny rabbit. So thank you for such a wonderful story!
Take care, Michele B

Stained with applesauce and chocolate milk, frayed by chewing and worn to its stuffing, a beloved toy bunny is overdue for a bath. "Don't worry," Micah encourages his go-everywhere pal; "I've had lots of baths." But the rabbit does not come clean, so Mama suggests a trip to the toy store for a replacement. Faced with the profusion of possible substitutes, Micah balks: "I don't want a new rabbit, thank you." He then applies some irrefutable child logic to the situation, and the three return home renewed. Moore's colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations playfully and tenderly accompany Oppenheim's text as it moves from joviality to disquieted attachment to strengthened affection. A winsome tale of love remaining love in spite of dirt and grime.
--Publisher's Weekly

Micah's Bunny Rabbit has been so well loved that it has no fur left and is covered with spots of chocolate milk, applesauce, and muddy water. The rabbit is still a mess after a bath, so Mama insists they take a trip to the store to buy a new stuffed animal. But eventually Mama comes to understand that a new friend could never take the place of her son's rabbit. This tender story of love, friendship, acceptance, and understanding is told in a reassuring manner. Illustrations of various sizes and shapes are executed in colored pencil and watercolor. A soothing tale for story times.
-- from Booklist