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Pat the Bunny (officially styled as pat the bunny) is a "touch and feel" book for small children and babies and has been a perennial best-seller in the U.S. 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

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]

There have been parodies of the book also, such as Pat the Politician, mocking contemporary political figures,[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]


  1. Schiro, Anne-Marie (July 29, 1984). "COMPANION FOR A CHILDREN'S CLASSIC". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 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]
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  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. Anderson, Lessley (2004-07-24). "Pat the Politician: A Political Pull and Poke Parody". San Francisco Weekly. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  12. Becker, J.; A. Mayer (1986). Pat the Yuppie. Perigee Trade (September 8, 1986). ISBN 0399512667.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  13. Auerbach, Stevanne (1999). "Golden Books". Retrieved 2006-06-18. 

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