Erryn reviews ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’ by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss, illustrated by E.G. Keller. The audiobook and ebook were published March 18, 2018. The audio is 7 fantastic minutes and the picture book is 40 beautifully illustrated pages. The publisher is Partially Important Productions.
Why I read this book: After watching every single episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, I had to grab this book as quickly as I could.
Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa—the vice president of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon’s life is about to change forever…
With a message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children’s book explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Beautifully performed by an all-star cast, featuring Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul, this sweet and funny story is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.
Last Week Tonight will be donating 100% of its proceeds from this book to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.
About the author: Marlon Bundo is a very fun bunny who recently relocated to Washington, DC, from his home in Indiana. He enjoys hopping through the garden, eating all his vegetables, and hula-hooping.
On this blog, we try to be Switzerland. Neutral. Fair. We discuss issues within the context of reviews of books, but we shy away from getting involved in politics. And since we are all from different points on the globe, that makes sense.
That being said, much of the world is impacted by American politicians, their moral decisions, and foreign policy choices
This review is my personal view. So here goes.
There are numerous reasons to purchase Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.
As a protest.
Vice President of the United States Mike Pence’s daughter Charlotte published Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President. One of the stops on the book tour is Focus on the Family. I invite you to research Focus on the Family. All I will say is their anti-gay rhetoric and belief in conversion therapy have hurt many people in a community I love and embrace.
Another reason to buy the book?
I have seen every episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. I loved him as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His new show has a different format from most late-night comedy shows. Every week, he and his team of writers and researchers tackle important issues. Some would be deadly boring to me (cryptocurrencies, net neutrality, Brexit, and gerrymandering), but these issues affect Americans deeply, and often, other citizens of the world as well. John Oliver and Mike Myers aren’t the reason Canada elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (although they might have swayed a few votes), but Oliver pointing out policies from previous administrations helped explain and legitimize many of Trudeau’s policies. The show introduced Trudeau on a much larger stage. It made fun of him – of course and as Trudeau has made fun of himself on occasion as well – but the show also pointed out that although Trudeau is young(ish), his policies are progressive. In comparison to other leaders and countries, I think Canadians are pretty lucky. (And I acknowledge the Liberal government has made some mistakes, but they apologize, learn from them, and ask for advice when they don’t know the answer.)
But you’re here about a book, so I’ll get off my Maple Leaf soapbox (sorry, eh)
The final, and most important reason to buy Marlon Bundo?
It’s a GREAT book!
To be very clear – this is a children’s book.
Is it political?
If you believe children should know they have the right to vote for their leader and their vote should count, then yes, it’s political.
Is it a social lesson?
If you believe children should be shown that being different is normal and acceptable, if showing them that boy bunnies can marry boy bunnies and that hedgehogs named Dill Prickle can “read the ends of books before I read the beginnings, just to make sure they’re not too sad for me”, then yes, it is a social lesson.
Is it a morality tale?
If by that you mean that Stink Bugs shouldn’t be listened to when they are spouting off homophobic and bigoted ideas and that being true to yourself and happy with your life choice is a lesson in morality, then, yes, it is a morality tale.
But it is a CHILDREN’S book.
I can, and will, read it to my young nieces and nephews. They have young minds that I hope will be raised to see that love is love and it doesn’t matter the gender of the person they love, only that they are happy.
Okay, so I bought the book.
I bought the audiobook on:
(It is just over $1.00 and you can buy the audiobook through Amazon, even if you don’t have an Audible account.)
It is also available on iTunes.
I bought the ebook:
And, finally, I bought the print book (which has since sold out, but production lines and printing presses are pumping out more as you read this):
It’s important to note that all proceeds are going to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.
(and now, if you make a donation directly to The Trevor Project or AIDS United, you can get a link for an ecopy of the book. This way, you bypass the retailer and can get a tax deduction if you’re American)
If you would like to buy it from your local independent bookstore you can go to this link.
Am I asking you to buy a children’s book as a political statement?
Well, it wouldn’t hurt.
Am I asking you to buy it because it will help vulnerable LGBT youth and people living with AIDS?
Am I suggesting you buy the book because it is brilliant?
The story is charming, the illustrations beautiful, and the message touching. If you can manage, the best way to enjoy the experience is to read the book while listening to the audio.
Jim Parsons is Marlon Bundo and the narrator. His performance is magnificent. Jesse Tyler Ferguson is Marlon’s boyfriend Wesley. Ru Paul, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kempter, and Jack McBrayer round out the cast as Marlon’s friends.
And Stink Bug?
Is portrayed by the awesomely amazing John Lithgow. I was blown away by the book, disappointed it was only 7 minutes long as I wanted it to go on and on, but comforted that I can listen to it again over and over. I listen to 4 to 5 audiobooks a week, performed by professional narrators. Sometimes, actors don’t make the best narrators, but this wasn’t the case. The performances were perfect. Yes, perfect.
Whether or not you have a young person in your life, this is a book you can enjoy – even if just for yourself.
Also, Catherine Dair published a bunny book with gay bunnies in Rainbow Glade, titled Somebunny Loves You: Skip and Pip. It can be purchased here:
I’m just making sure she doesn’t get lost in the bunny craze as she was a trailblazer.
Buy Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo for a young person. Buy it for yourself. Buy a copy for your local library and/or encourage them to buy a copy. Buy it as a gift for a little one or someone you want to make smile.
Again, this is a CHILDREN’S book!
Finally, in a political statement, on Monday, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was #1 in all of Amazon.
LOVE TRUMPS HATE.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars