Big Brass Bunny Band
To the Taft Elementary Parent-Teacher Association:
We have received a number of angry letters, irate phone calls and obstreperous personal-space intrusions from members of the local community expressing concern over our school library’s inclusion of the popular illustrated children’s book, Big Brass Bunny Band. We would like to take this opportunity to address the issues raised.
It is the author’s intent to present Bunnyville as an inclusive, equal-opportunity community, and to this end, characters of many different races, religions and lifestyles are featured. Given the limited space available in a typical children’s picture book, appropriate visual and textual “shorthand” is used to support the positive values of diversity and tolerance at the heart of the story. In no way are the Jungle Bunnies, the Big-Nose Family, Gimpo Rabbit, or the Busy Bunny Cousins meant to reinforce negative or derogatory stereotypes.
The reference on page 8 to “The King’s Big Brass Balls” is perfectly legitimate in the context of the three-night royal celebration which serves as the story’s primary impetus. By the same argument, so are the subsequent character dialogue references: “I love big balls!”, “Let’s make these balls swing, boys!”, and “Brass balls, indeed.”
Some ridiculous objections have been raised to the story’s subtle use of political allegory, particularly the climactic sequence in which the deposed King’s head is mounted on a pike by members of the Big Brass Bunny Band, as a warning to all who would try to impose a legal-drinking-age limit in Bunnyville. Are we to rob our children of such a stirring example of civic-minded thought and action? Should we commit the doubly ironic act of compromising our children’s right to hear free speech about the intoxicating glories of alcohol?
The controversial “drug abuse” demonstrated by members of the Big Brass Bunny Band is completely in keeping with well-documented historical tradition among musicians. It is important for children to know that cocaine and heroin were at one time legitimately marketed as over-the-counter drugs, and that many honorable citizens used these medications as directed before developing tragic addictions. We also suggest that Bo Bunny’s comical freebasing accident on pages 16 and 17, Bree Bunny’s “horrifying” LSD flashback on page 18, and Betty Bunny’s accidental microwaving of her newborn babies on page 19 serve valuable educational and cautionary purposes.
Much of the recent discussion has centered around the Bunny characters’ private lives as graphically depicted on pages 3, 6, 9, 14, 16, 20, 24, 25, and 28. Most of the activities depicted are completely natural and legitimately procreational in nature, and reputable surveys indicate that the events of pages 9 and 16 are much more common than one might think. Please remember—despite their anthropomorphization for storytelling purposes, all of the characters in the book ARE rabbits. The book’s author is interrupting their orgiastic, genetically impelled mating frenzies with his story, not the other way around, and it is not reasonable to expect his characters to refrain from expressing their exuberant sexuality for 28 full pages.
To those whose concerns we have not been able to address, we humbly suggest that you may simply be a bunch of uptight, narrow-minded, censorious, blue-nosed busybodies with no love of children, or life for that matter. With all due respect, our ultimate response to your inane bellyaching must be a heartfelt “Fuck you!”, raised high and loud for all the world to hear.
Your Library Staff