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Scottish author Isla Wynter has released a new picture book born from her own experience of self-isolation and being cut off from family and friends.
The Bunny on the Moon tells the adorable story of Maribus Honey, a rabbit living all by himself on the moon. One day, when he feels particularly lonely, he builds a ladder and climbs down to Earth – but will he find the friendship he’s craving?
Using rhymes and charming illustrations, this picture book encourages children to talk about their feelings and fears, while also telling them that it’s okay to feel lonely and scared from time to time.
While the book doesn’t mention the coronavirus or lockdown, it is written with the current situation in mind.
‘Many parents have told me how difficult it is for their children to not be able to see their friends or relatives,’ said Isla, who hails from Helensburgh.
‘Some even think that their grandparents no longer love them because they don’t come for visits. When I heard that, I knew my next book would have to be about being alone and away from everyone else.
‘I live on my own and haven’t seen anyone for seven weeks, which sometimes makes me feel like I could just as well live on an entirely different planet. That’s why I decided to have my main character live on the moon, far away from everyone else.’
Research shows that young children in particular are vulnerable to anxiety and stress experienced by their parents, often developing mental health problems themselves in the future. At a time where many adults are faced with uncertainty about job security, health and personal finances, it is especially important to make sure children do not bottle up their feelings.
‘I hope that this book can give children the confidence to talk about their emotions as well as deal with the confusion and unpredictability the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it,’ added Isla.
‘And even if they just like the story of a cute bunny and it distracts them from reality for a while, that would make me very happy.’
The Bunny on the Moon is available as paperback (ISBN 9781913556037, published by Peryton Press), eBook and audiobook and can be found at all major bookstores, including Amazon. The eBook and audiobook are also available for free at many libraries.