Pat the Bunny

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Pat the Bunny
Original book cover
Author Dorothy Kunhardt
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's story
Publisher Golden Books
Publication date
1940, re-issue May 1, 2001
Media type Print paperback
Pages 20
ISBN 0-307-12000-7
OCLC 7375218
Followed by Pat the Cat

Pat the Bunny is a "touch and feel" book for small children and babies and has been a perennial best-seller in the United States since its publication in 1940. It is not a book in the traditional sense, but more a collection of things to do, such as pat the fake fur of a rabbit on one page, feel a bit of sandpaper that stands for "daddy's scratchy face" on another, and look in a mirror on yet another.

It was written by Dorothy Kunhardt, who was a successful children's author when she wrote Pat the Bunny for her 3-year-old daughter, Edith.[1] It was partly an experiment in using interactive elements in a book, which was unusual at the time.[2]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Since its publication, Pat the Bunny has sold over 6 million copies, making it the number-6 all-time bestselling children's hardcover book, according to Publishers Weekly.[3] Edith Kunhardt wrote three companions: Pat the Cat in 1984, Pat the Puppy in 1991, and Pat the Pony in 1997. The publisher, Random House, has developed an entire line of related products,[4] and the company DIC will create a TV series based on the book.[5][6] The book continues to be popular, appearing as eleventh best selling children's illustrated book for the week of June 15, 2006.[7] Golden Press makes more than a quarter million copies a year.[2] The book was endorsed by experts in child development for its "developmental features" and "sensory approach".[8] In August 2004, Classic Media and Evergreen Concepts partnered to help promote the Pat the Bunny brand.[9] On March 4, 2008, a DVD of the book was released with interactive materials included and an interview with Jean Kunhardt, the author's granddaughter.[10] In 2011, Random House Children's Books released a ""pat the bunny"" app, inspired by the original book, for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch[11] which received critical acclaim.[12]

There have been parodies of the book also, such as Pat the Politician, mocking contemporary political figures,[13] and Pat the Yuppie, which includes activities like touching the sheepskin seatcovers of their new BMW and rubbing the exposed brick of their new condominium's wall.[14]

The proceeds from Pat the Bunny support I Am Your Child, a national public awareness campaign created by the Reiner Foundation to stress the importance of early brain development.[15]

See also[edit]

Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, whose leader was called Pat the Bunny.


  1. ^ Schiro, Anne-Marie (July 29, 1984). "COMPANION FOR A CHILDREN'S CLASSIC". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  2. ^ a b PHILIP B. KUNHARDT JR (1990-12-23). "The Original Touchy-Feely: 'Pat the Bunny' Turns 50". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  3. ^ "Pat the Bunny". Powell's Books. 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  4. ^ "the story of pat the bunny". Golden Books. 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  5. ^ Mallory, Michael (January 1, 2001). "Wild about Harry's pals Execs snap up magical, mystical tomes". Retrieved 2006-06-13. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Licensing 2000: Not the Way We Were?". Publishing Trends. July 2000. Archived from the original on 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  7. ^ "Bestseller List for June 15, 2006". Booksense Booksellers. June 15, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-13. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Pat the Bunny (Golden Touch and Feel Book)". Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  9. ^ "Classic Media and Evergreen Concepts Form Strategic Partnership to Develop Licensing Programs for Little Golden Books and Pat the Bunny". PRWeb. 2004-08-04. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  10. ^ Ranny Levy (2008-02-19). "Pat the Bunny Comes to DVD March 4". kidsfirst. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  11. ^ "pat the bunny for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". iTunes. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  12. ^ "Review of Pat the Bunny by Random House Digital, Inc. on"
  13. ^ Anderson, Lessley (2004-07-24). "Pat the Politician: A Political Pull and Poke Parody". San Francisco Weekly. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  14. ^ Becker, J.; A. Mayer (1986). Pat the Yuppie. Perigee Trade (September 8, 1986). ISBN 0-399-51266-7. 
  15. ^ Auerbach, Stevanne (1999). "Golden Books". Retrieved 2006-06-18.