Celebrating National Rabbit Week: Top 10 Bunnies in Literature

Posted by Eric Smith

Did you know that we’re in the middle of National Rabbit Week? It’s true. And I should know, proud owner of a bun that I am. My darling bun, Rory, is featured in Quirk’s upcoming craft book, Microcrafts. That’s her tail at the end of the book. Squee!

Ahem, but I digress.

According to Petwork, National Rabbit Week is “dedicated to education and the promotion of responsible ownership, as well as showing people what great pets bunnies can be.” So in honor of the week that pays tribute to my favorite cute and fluffy animal, I’ve pooled together a list of my top 10 literary bunnies. From comic books to classic literature, baby books to newspaper strips, these buns adorably appear in all wakes of print. If I missed a favorite of yours, let me know!

Bunnicula: Attempting a Google image search for an actual illustration of Bunnicula is a study in patience. Rabbit owners all over post photos of their bunnies, red eyes blazing from camera flashes, labeled as Bunnicula. A favorite pick of Quirk’s own Doogie Horner (he recommends the Celery Stalks at Midnight and the Howliday Inn), it’s hard not to love James Howe’s vampiric bunny who sucks juice out of veggies with his tiny fangs. “Today, vegetables. Tomorrow… the world!”

Peter Rabbit: Even though the story is over 100 years old, Beatrix Potter’s tale of Peter Rabbit and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail continues to sell a fantastic amount of copies. Peter’s rebellious nature makes him all the more endearing. Really, who can blame him for going to town in the vegetable garden? As a child, any one of us let loose in a candy store would do the same thing, and maybe that’s why we love him so much.

*sniffle* he just wants to be real!

The Velveteen Rabbit: Whoa. Stop it. Seriously, come on now. This is getting really awkward, please stop crying. Thank you. This bun’s dream to be a real rabbit undoubtedly made you cry as a child, and even now as an adult you’re finding it hard… to… *sob* fight back the… *choke*… tears… dammit, now you’ve got me all worked up!

Hazel, Fiver, Blackberry, Etc: Oh, those brave bunnies of Richard Adams’ Watership Down. Hazel, the leader. Fiver, the bunny who saw the future. Blackberry, the smartest of the lot. The list goes on and on, each bunny endearing… well, so long as you try not to think about the late 70’s animated film. Warning, that link will take you to the most horrifying moments in that flick. Spoiler alert, indeed.

Mr. Bun is such a great name.

Mr. Bun: What do you mean “who is Mr. Bun?” He’s Susie Derkin’s stuffed animal in Calvin & Hobbes! Okay, so he’s not exactly an important character in the Calvin & Hobbes universe, but who can resist making a Calvin & Hobbes reference? No one, that’s who.

Roger Rabbit: Did you know that Roger Rabbit wasn’t just a movie character? He appeared in a book by Gary K. Wolf entitled Who Censored Roger Rabbit before he became a silver-screen icon. Jessica Rabbit also kind of counts. Right?

Pat the Bunny: Okay fine, so we really don’t know much about the main character in this touch-and-feel baby book, but who cares? He’s so soft! I don’t think I know a single person that didn’t grow up with this book.

White Rabbit: The panicked, time obsessed hare from Alice in Wonderland, who Alice follows down into his teensy tiny house. Thinking about him, it’s hard not to get his song from the Disney film stuck in your head. I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye I’m late I’m late I’m late!

3 (Pirate), on the right.

3: Also known as Pirate, this bunny appears in Vertigo Comics’ We3, a three-issue mini series about a trio of animal weapons that escape captivity. Housed in robotic armor that grants them all kinds of incredible deadly abilities (the use of weapons like machine guns, for example), it’s a surprisingly touching story about creatures that really, just want to be loved. You might cry.

Brummel: When I first started working at Quirk, the first book dropped into my lap was an ARC of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After. As a lover of bunnies, I was thrilled to discover that one of the characters, in fact, had a pet rabbit! Brummel! This resulted in me searching for an adoptable rabbit on Craiglist for the better part of a month. One day, I’ll have my own bun named Brummel. One day.

So those are my picks. Did I miss your favorite bunny? Let me know in the replies!

Eric Smith


ERIC SMITH is the cofounder of Geekadelphia, a popular blog covering all-that-is-geek in the City of Brotherly Love, as well as the Philadelphia Geek Awards, an annual awards show held at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He’s written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, and Philly.com