Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter and wife wrote and illustrated, respectively, a children’s book about the family’s adorable pet rabbit named Marlon Bundo. A day before its release date, late-night host John Oliver published his own children’s book about the titular bunny. The not-so-friendly competition between the two has resulted in a lot of money raised for some great causes.
Why the need for two related bunny books? Oliver’s book, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller, is about a boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Clearly a pointed jab at the Vice President for his longtime opposition to gay and transgender rights. All of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the Trevor Project, a charity for L.G.B.T. youth, and AIDS United. “Please buy it for your children, buy it for any child you know, or just buy it because you know it would annoy Mike Pence,” Oliver said on his show.
When released, Oliver’s parody book was No. 1 on Amazon’s best-seller list while the Pence family’s book, Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President, sat at No. 4—no small feat for a children's book about Marlon, the BOTUS (Bunny of the United States) who joins "grampa" Pence at White House events. The Pences will donate a portion of their proceeds to A21, a nonprofit focused on combating human trafficking, and an art therapy program at Riley Hospital for Children.
But the Pence family is taking the mockery in stride, posting a photo on Marlon Bundo’s official Instagram account with the caption, “@lastweektonight@iamjohnoliver Not gonna lie, I do look pretty fly in a bow tie. The only thing better than one bunny book for charity is...TWO bunny books for charity. #BOTUS – Marlon”
Instead of letting Marlon Bundo become yet another thing that divides us, why not let him bring us together? Maybe if liberals think of the Vice President as a rabbit’s “grampa,” they’d have warmer feelings toward him, and maybe conservatives will shift their perspective on gay marriage after reading a sweet story about two boy bunnies who love each other. But maybe that’s all wishful thinking.
No matter which book you buy, you’d be doing a nice thing. And in the end, that’s what counts.