John Kilburn ︎︎

Bunnies Behind Bars
with Astra Papachristodoulou

Bunnies Behind Bars is a playful sequence about the dark side of animal testing. It’s an interactive story book with the narrative unfolding through a series of formally diverse poems and quizzes. The story focuses on the life of Benjamin Bunny and his kits who are forcefully taken from their happy home in Bunshire and locked in a laboratory where they all witness terrible things. The illustrations for Bunnies Behind Bars were been inspired by the work of Alec Buckels and in particular this worn-out, drawn-upon and well-loved copy of Stories of Bunny Buffin (1945) that originally belonged to my Grandmother.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Knives Forks and Spoons (12 April 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 70 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 191221184X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1912211845
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.81 x 0.48 x 21.01 cm

This is a tale of distress. This is a tale of sorrow. A tale about four cottontails-tails that belonged to three little bunnies (and one not so little), and their names were: Flopsy, Flimsy, Forrest and Benjamin. 

They lived in a long stretch of a bankside by the River Wey, underneath the root of an old English oak tree in Bunshire. Although much of the day was spent inside their warm burrow, resting and cuddling, they were all very active. They hopped on sun-kissed pools of mud at the safest times of the day and often, grazed weeds near a throne made of pebbles just a short distance away from the river.

"Now, my dears," said Mr Benjamin Bye one morning, "you may play to your heart's content, but make sure to stay away from red-eyed humans." The bunnies giggled while splashing and pressing their toes upon the cushions of the stream under the comfort of the blue sky.

Mr Benjamin Bunny, a gentle dad, was very protective of his kittens and insisted with firm but soft voice, "Now run along, and don't get into mischief. We wouldn't want to end up in a laboratory now, would we?"