In direct response to Charlotte Pence and Karen Pence’s anodyne Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President (2018), a lifted middle finger to Vice President Mike Pence’s homophobia.
Informing readers that “this story isn’t going to be about [the vice president], because he isn’t very fun,” black-and-white bunny Marlon Bundo relates the events of his Very Special Day, which really begins when he espies Wesley, a “bunny-beautiful” lop-eared, bespectacled brown rabbit, in the garden. (In Keller’s accompanying illustration, Wesley is depicted heroically from a low perspective, enhaloed in the sun’s golden rays.) They hop happily together through house and garden and then decide to marry, at which point The Stink Bug (bearing a head of recognizable white hair) appears on the scene to tell them that “Boy Bunnies Don’t Marry Boy Bunnies!” Marlon Bundo, Wesley, and their animal friends discuss their various differences and then vote The Stink Bug “not in charge.” Attended by “two handsome grooms-otters,” Marlon Bundo and Wesley are then married by a lesbian cat minister. Adult viewers of the satirical TV show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which is behind this stunt, will love it. However, even as it delivers its message, the story takes easy jabs at the format it’s delivered in, and the result is yet another tiresome political picture book that’s nominally for children but really winks at other adults over their heads. Proceeds go to the Trevor Project and AIDS United.
Good for a chuckle for adults who support LGBTQ rights, but those who want to share inclusive stories with children should look elsewhere. (Picture book. 3-7)