As I was on the journey of publishing Michie and Vylette: Love at First Bite, I started to reflect on the two main characters of the story. There was one special aspect of the dynamic duo that suddenly sparked a new thought in my mind. It was something that I had not paid much attention towards, as I was creating the story- the concept of the young female protagonist and her female pet bunny!
Growing up, I watched many cartoons and I have always been fond of animated movies, tv shows and books. I remembered the pattern of male protagonists and their male animal companions. Charlie Brown had Snoopy, The Man with the Yellow Hat had Curious George, John Arbuckle had Garfield and Odie. Although I enjoyed these stories and shows, I hardly saw any female characters dealing with a pet of her own. Disney created Lilo and Stitch (Lilo being a very young girl and Stitch was an alien that became like a pet) but that might be as close as I have seen. The male characters had a bond with their male pets. They were "buddies" who shared many great memories, sometimes deep conversations. Sure, there might have been some slight trouble caused over the years, but it was all part of the overall experience!
Michie is an idealistic and independent-minded 12-year-old girl, who knows what she wants and what she believes will fulfill her dreams (having a pet of her own at all costs). Vylette is a smart bunny with a mind of her own as well! When these two females come together, there is a bit of sassiness, trouble and curiosity paired with real emotions. The story is targeted for older children (ages 10-12) who may best relate to protagonist Michie's sense of autonomy and strong feelings. We also do not see bunnies in many traditional pet stories, so while the theme of pet friendship can be seen, the ups and downs between the two characters is truly unique. As a woman who had experienced bunny ownership as an adult, I had to tap into my own emotional being and imagine what it might have felt like having a bunny as a younger girl.
Since we have all witnessed many boys and men embark on adventures with their troublesome yet lovable cats and dogs, it will soon be time to welcome Michie and Vylette Bunny into your homes this time around!