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Rabbit featured in book about seasons, holidays
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A book about BunnBunn can be fun fun.
Author Judy Neighbors will be on hand July 9 at Hastings from 2-5 p.m. to sign her new book “Learn with BunnBunn — Hopping Through Months, Seasons and Holidays” that she wrote to feature pictures of her rabbit. 
The “tail” involving BunnBunn was released May 2 by Tate Publishing and Enterprises. It follows the cottontail in her travels and teaches children about months, seasons and holidays.
Colorful photos, taken by Neighbors, will hopefully delight children as BunnBunn hops through the many reasons to celebrate the seasons.
“When I brought BunnBunn home, she enjoyed the attention of me dressing her up and taking her picture,” said Neighbors. “The more attention she got, the more she liked it.”
Seasonal activities experienced included BunnBunn at the beach, playing in the snow and going trick-or-treating. The most memorable would have to be BunnBunn on the beach, says Neighbors.
“The beach was something. I took a photograph of BunnBunn wearing a bikini. I dug a hole in the sand and made it the shape of her back so she would be comfortable. I laid her there on a towel and she didn’t try to get up. As we were taking the photos one man said ‘I have seen it all’ as he walked by.”
Neighbors had thought about using her pictures in a calendar, but decided on a book.
“People throw calendars away,” she said. “I wanted to do something that would be educational for children and make everyone, young and old, smile and laugh.”
To add even more interest, Neighbors asked Tate Publishing to add a bunny paw print on each of the illustrated pages so kids can have fun trying to find them all.
Neighbors was born in Nebraska and moved to Chattanooga when she was 16. In her teens, she began taking photographs of people, animals, and landscapes. As an adult, she took graphic design, advertising art, and photography courses in college, then became a professional photographer.
The tale of Neighbors and BunnBunn actually began several years ago when she purchased BunnBunn from Pet Care Warehouse and brought her home. Pictures taken of the adorable critter began almost immediately, as well as litter training and bunny-proofing precautions.
“I let her run around the house like you would any pet,” said Neighbors.
Along with educating children about activities during the year, Neighbors has become an advocate for bunnies and emphasizes the responsibility required to take care of a rabbit.
“I think it’s awful when people cage rabbits all the time,” she said. “Every year, before Easter, people go out and purchase a cute bunny for their children without knowing how much care they require. Some people keep them a little while and then put them in a cage outside or let them go free.”
Neighbors says domestic rabbits cannot take the extreme temperatures of being outside, nor have they learned the dangers associated with being set free.
“A tame rabbit does not know what to do. When I took BunnBunn outside with me, she’d never hop away. If I had let her outside by herself, she would have died a cruel death because a dog or cat would have gotten her. She wouldn’t have known to run away.”
BunnBunn will not be in attendance at the book signing. She died three years ago when she was 6. Neighbors and her husband, Jerry, now live with a rescued dog and two cats.
“Having a rabbit in our home would not be a good situation at this time,” said Neighbors. “Having a rabbit was wonderful. BunnBunn was the very best pet I’ve ever had. We would take naps together, and if it was cold, she would get under the blanket. I loved her so much.”
Although there are no plans to purchase a new rabbit, that may not stop a second book.
“I’m thinking about it,” she said. “I guess I shouldn’t say too much about it, but I do have ideas for more books.”
Books will be available for purchase during the book signing.