Up to date information about children's entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Pat the Bunny Comes to DVD March 4

You loved the book when your kids were growing up and now, Genius Products and Classic Media are releasing the DVD of “Pat the Bunny” this Spring. I have not seen this DVD yet but it promises to be as engaging as the original books and includes special “touch-and-feel” packaging as well as an interview with child education expert Jean Kunhardt, the granddaughter of the original author, Dorothy Kunhardt. The 62-minute DVD features four, 15-minute shorts with the iconic rabbit and will be available starting March 4, 2008.

I remember reading “Pat the Bunny” to my children when they were babies. Created by Dorothy Kunhardt, it was truly the first of its kind, as an interactive book for babies and toddlers, when it was published in 1940. As a perennial favorite, it has sold more than seven million copies worldwide. The book encourages interactivity with our child as you pat the soft fur of the bunny, play peek-a-boo, look in the mirror, and feel Daddy’s scratchy face. I remember how my daughter read it so many times that the sandpaper for Daddy was worn smooth, the bunny’s fur mangled and the mirror smudged with her little fingerprints. She would read it over and over throughout the day and then again at bedtime.

“Pat the Bunny” was known as baby’s first gift for more than 60 years. Dorothy Kunhardt, a pioneer in early child development and an established children’s author, started experimenting with adding interactive elements to children’s books. The results of those experiments was “Pat the Bunny,” which she wrote for her 3-year-old daughter, Edith. Dorothy felt that there was more to books than just words on paper and that added elements could increase a child’s love for reading and learning. The interactive elements of the book – bunny’s fur, daddy’s scratchy beard, smelling the flowers, looking in a mirror, peek-a-boo blanket, reading a miniature book, poking your finger through a die cut of mommy’s ring and waving bye-bye – have been the keys to its success. In fact, the original book was so successful that Edith Kunhardt, the inspiration for the original book, wrote three companions to the original.
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