I was given the opportunity to read, “Audrey Bunny,” a sweet children’s book written by Angie Smith. “Audrey Bunny,” is a love story to Angie Smith’s daughter Audrey who passed away just a few hours after her birth. If you visit her blog and read her story from the beginning you will understand why this isn’t just a nice children’s story about a bunny, but I forewarn you to get a box of Kleenex. While shopping with a friend before her daughter was born, Angie came across a bunny that she had an immediate attachment to, however when she told her husband the price of the bunny he suggested they try another store. Something about that bunny stuck with her so strongly that her husband suggested they go back to find it, but before they could go back to the store they discovered their soon to be born baby girl was having some serious health problems. After leaving the hospital with somber news her husband was determined that they buy that bunny. They found the bunny, the last one with it’s little ears sticking out of the barrel, they quickly grabbed it and found a black permanent mark on it’s heart, they knew God had given them that bunny. Thus the book, “Audrey Bunny” was born.
Amidst a barrel full of bunnies and toys lied a little adorable bunny who tried to look perfect so that a child would bring her home to love. The bunny however, was not perfect it had a smudge right over by her heart. This made the bunny sad because what child would want a messed up bunny? But, Caroline a little girl with a big heart did! She named the bunny Audrey Bunny after her grandma. Audrey Bunny loved Caroline, but was worried that if she saw that she wasn’t perfect she wouldn’t want her. So Audrey Bunny did everything to hide her imperfections. One day, Caroline tells Audrey that she is going to take her to school for Show and Tell. On the morning of Show and Tell, Audrey begin to panic when she realized she had nothing to cover her mark! Once at school, Audrey was in a panic, this was surely was the end, then Caroline pulled her out of her bookbag and held her bunny high in the air. Soon the children we’re pointing and Audrey was face to face with her worse fear, which was Caroline would discover she wasn’t perfect. What Audrey didn’t know was Caroline had always known about the mark, and whispered to Audrey how the spot over her heart made her beautiful to her. Caroline chose Audrey. Audrey realized she didn’t need to hide her mark, it wasn’t a secret it was why she was chosen to begin with.
“Audrey Bunny,” was a breath of fresh air. I loved that it’s message to children is that with all of our imperfections we are still beautiful. They don’t have to hide them in order to be loved. In the story the bunny goes to great lengths to hide the mark above our heart, just as we often do with our own smudges in our life. Loving one another with all our imperfections is exactly how Jesus loves us and the author portrays this throughout the story. Angie Smith catches the tender moments between a young girl and her stuffed bunny that reminds us of how unconditionally children love and also how we should love one another. This is a beautiful book to read to your children that expresses to them that they are created by God’s design with imperfections and all and that God loves them and created them with his loving hands.
The end of the book has a Parent Connection that gives a scripture to read and also questions to discuss with your children. But my favorite part is the, “Do,” section that suggest you give your children some nice stationary and have them write a letter to themselves from God after reading Psalm 119:73 and Genesis 1. After reading it and thinking about how God has made them they should write what they think God thinks of them. After writing their letter have them put it away in a special place and take it out when they don’t feel so special. I think the parents may want to write that letter to themselves as well!
In a world that beckons for us to judge from what is on the outside and places an absorbent amount of value on appearances and what is considered to be , “normal,” Audrey Bunny encourages our children to accept themselves the way God created them. It assures them that in their imperfection they are perfectly created and loved. This is a book you’ll want to read, keep and pass down.