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BUNNIES DON'T LIVE IN THE CITY, MY DEAR

A story that teaches both young and old that everyday holds the opportunity to make friends in your neighborhood

Photo of Lynne Southerland
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BUNNIES DON’T LIVE IN THE CITY, MY DEAR

A Picture Book Manuscript


Granbetty and I are taking a walk.

We take many steps, as we talk.

 

We wave to friends who sit on their stoops

Even the guy tossing a hoola-hoop.

 

But on this day I see something new

I almost missed it as it hopped over my shoe.

 

Granbetty didn’t see it, but I know what I saw

And point to the footprint left by its paw.

 

“Bunnies don’t live in the city my dear,

They live where it’s green, and there’s no park near here.”

 

We hear a small rustle and turn just in time

To see a small bunny, the color of a lime.

 

It freezes for a moment until I move fast

It takes off like a rocket on full blast.

 

Down the alley it goes lickety-split

I try to catch it, but Granbetty says, “It’s time to quit.”

 

Back home, we do finger paints, but all I can draw

Is a lime-colored bunny with a paint-covered paw

 

Is it playing with its Granbunny or in a hole all alone?

I ‘m not going to feel good until the answer is known.

 

After our nap, we walk back to the spot

Where we first saw the bunny go hoppity-hop

 

We make bunny noises with our teeth and tongues

From a hole in the ground, the lime-bunny sprung

 

Before I can blink another appears

But this bunny has a pink puff on its rear

 

Soon we are greeted by as many as ten

They giggle and wiggle before returning to their den.

 

I wave goodbye before turning away

Happy that city bunnies have a place to play.

 

Now everyday our bunny pals greet us near their hole

New friends in the neighborhood, as we take our stroll.

 

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Accompanied by illustrations depicting a working class neighborhood, this story can inspire and encourage parents/grandparents/guardians to sojourn with their toddlers through their city neighborhood and share the wonders of discovery and the joy of connecting with neighbors.

Share your suggested book title

BUNNIES DON'T LIVE IN THE CITY, MY DEAR

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

BUNNIES DON’T LIVE IN THE CITY, MY DEAR A Picture Book Manuscript Granbetty and I are taking a walk. We take many steps, as we talk. We wave to friends who sit on their stoops Even the guy tossing a hoola-hoop. But on this day I see something new I almost missed it as it hopped over my shoe. Granbetty didn’t see it, but I know what I saw And point to the footprint left by its paw. “Bunnies don’t live in the city my dear, They live where it’s green, and there’s no park near here.” We hear a small rustle and turn just in time To see a small bunny, the color of a lime. It freezes for a moment until I move fast It takes off like a rocket on full blast. Down the alley it goes lickety-split I try to catch it, but Granbetty says, “It’s time to quit.” Back home, we do finger paints, but all I can draw Is a lime-colored bunny with a paint-covered paw Is it playing with its Granbunny or in a hole all alone? I ‘m not going to feel good until the answer is known. After our nap, we walk back to the spot Where we first saw the bunny go hoppity-hop We make bunny noises with our teeth and tongues From a hole in the ground, the lime-bunny sprung Before I can blink another appears But this bunny has a pink puff on its rear Soon we are greeted by as many as ten They giggle and wiggle before returning to their den. I wave goodbye before turning away Happy that city bunnies have a place to play. Now everyday our bunny pals greet us near their hole New friends in the neighborhood, as we take our stroll.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

By utilizing a rhyme to tell the story, both the play on words and rhythmic delivery (when read aloud) will engage the child and through that interplay with the caretaker encourage repeated telling of the story and development of language.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I grew up in Philadelphia and know its streets well. My mother taught at Bache Elementary at 22nd and Brown Streets. The streets of that neighborhood, as well as other working class neighborhoods are what I held in my mind as I developed this story.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I expect the full realization of this story to be manifested when accompanied by illustrations depicting a working class neighborhood in Philadelphia. That combined with the fun of the text will create a sense of familiarity for the readers, while also bringing a bit of the unusual into their world.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

California

Location: City

Los Angeles

Website URL (optional question)

www.showingup.net

Tell us more about you / your team

My connection to children's storytelling is birthed from my work as an animation producer. I love inspiring children and families through mythic themes, comedy, and emotional exploration. As a person of color, I have had the great opportunity to help produce multicultural stories that help expand the storytelling library available to the otherwise underrepresented population. Some of those titles include the HBO animated series HAPPILY EVER AFTER: FAIRYTALES FOR EVERY CHILD, and the sequel to the beloved Disney movie, MULAN, titled MULAN 2. I have written multiple picture book manuscripts as well as one for middle grade and YA readers. Although unpublished, I am still inspired to explore these genres. As a former Philadelphian, my memories of my childhood there, sparked the manuscript I am submitting.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I am drawn to picture books that embody a fanciful sensibility and avoid literal human/environmental reality. They remind that I can see the world in unusual ways; that reality can be so limiting. The illustrations I am attaching capture the playfulness I believe will both support and enhance my manuscript's theme.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Most of my work has only been published on my website: showing.net My picture book manuscript RED DOG AND THE KANGAROO KIDNAPPING was read by a child on the www.smories.com website; my poem I AM ON THE PATH was published in the STORY SPROUTS ANTHOLOGY available on Amazon.com

Do you have an agent?

  • Yes

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Direct email invitation

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

7 comments

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Photo of Hebbare N
Team

It is a nice imagery, dream come true narration, with universal love concept for the loving bunnies so close and hugging for the kids. I can feel the the like of what you want to happen and believing that its really happening is Utopian and Real. I very much liked the pretty conversation and story line. the dwelling hole leads into into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale moves with logic, and potential for lasting popularity with children.

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