Easter Bunnies

Watership Down Cover Art

Richard Adams’ first novel Watership Down was published in 1972 by the publisher Rex Collings in a rather sweet, but monochrome cover (above). The novel had been rejected by several publishers, but after publication went on to win the Carnegie Medal amongst many other awards.

Thinking about Easter bunnies, I made a montage of Penguin and Puffin paperback covers through the years…

Being very much a ‘crossover’ book, the paperback was published in adult and children’s covers by Penguin and Puffin respectively through the years. I came to it via the mid 1970s Penguin cover on the left, which used the same artwork as the Puffin (top), but in close-up. The 1978 animated film led to the dark adult cover (bottom) – no ‘Bright eyes’ there! After that, later covers have a sweet little rabbit – reversed on adult and children’s covers; I’m surprised that cowslips haven’t featured before actually. Then we have the a cute TV tie-in cover for the more recent animation in 2018, (bottom). My favourite of all is the new adult cover for the 40th Anniversary in 2018, which is obviously based on the original Puffin. I don’t feel the need to read the book again, having seen both animations over the years, but enjoyed looking back at the covers.

Happy Easter & Stay Safe!

6 thoughts on “Easter Bunnies

  1. Karen J Schoff says:

    I read Watership Down just a few months ago for the very first time and just loved it, but have never seen any of the screen versions. Some really lovely covers there!

  2. Calmgrove says:

    And you too, Annabel, it goes without saying. I was quite confused by the recent TV version, admirably animated but overlong and feeling like an interminable series of incidents. The cinema version I found more affecting despite the book being significantly truncated, but I missed the purely literary quality inherent in the book’s epic approach, like a combination of the Iliad and Odyssey with poetry embedded, emotional highs and lows incorporated, and a leporine mythology interwoven.

  3. Rebecca Foster says:

    This was a childhood favourite of mine and is on my designated shelf for re-reading. I recently found a copy of that lefthand Penguin edition from the free bookshop where I volunteer.

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