Edinburgh 7-year-old pens ‘beautiful’ book about a homeless rabbit for charity

A young writer from Edinburgh has published a book about a magical rabbit with no friends in an effort to raise money for homelessness charity, Crisis Scotland.

Saturday, 19th December 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Saturday, 19th December 2020, 11:46 am

Seven-year-old Odette San Miguel Banyuls worked on the words and illustrations for “The Homeless Rabbit” for more than a month before it was unveiled to the public.

The story follows a fluffy white rabbit called Joey who has magical powers - but nowhere to live.

After befriending a dinosaur called Sam, Joey goes on an amazing Christmas-themed quest to find a safe place to live.

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Explaining what inspired her to create the tale, young Odette told the Evening News: “Always when I walk to school I see a homeless person next to the Royal Bank of Scotland and that makes me sad.”

Odette, who is a pupil at Bruntsfield Primary School, created the story with the help of her mother, Rocio, after class.

“I like rabbits and I wanted Joey to be white with a pink nose because I have an all-white cat with a pink nose named Bartolito.

“I wanted the story to be a bit sad at the beginning and happy at the end, to give homeless people hope,” she added.

Seven-year-old Odette San Miguel Banyuls worked on the words and illustrations for “The Homeless Rabbit” for more than a month before it was unveiled to the public.

“The most difficult drawing was Joey. It took me a lot of time to finish the Joey I wanted,” Odette said, “The last thing I did was colouring the drawings.”

Revealing more of her story’s narrative universe, the debut author explained that Joey was her favourite character because he inherited his magic powers from his mother, who passed them to him “when he was sleeping in bed before she died.”

Mum Rocio said: “What I am most proud of is all the effort and commitment that Odette put in writing the book.

“It was her who would remind me, sometimes late in the evening, that she needed to work on the book to finish it on time for Christmas.

After befriending a dinosaur called Sam, Joey goes on an amazing Christmas-themed quest to find a safe place to live.

“We are also very impressed by how she has shown such a mature awareness of the problems of people less fortunate than herself, and amazed at all the support she has had so far.”

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “This is a fantastic book by an extremely talented young artist.

“It’s a great story, with beautiful illustrations, and amazingly, Odette has now raised over £700 for charity, including for Crisis.

“Odette should be very proud of her work in helping people experiencing the worst forms of homelessness.

“With Christmas approaching, tens of thousands of families and individuals across Britain will be sleeping on the streets, in sheds and garages, or in unstable accommodation such as B&Bs or sofa-surfing.

“No one should be homeless and alone over the holidays, but you can help with the gift of a Crisis Christmas.

“As the harshest time of year approaches, we’re busy preparing a Crisis Christmas that ensures thousands of people will feel safe and cared for.

“Each year we mobilise a huge volunteer effort to provide thousands of people with a special Christmas, and Odette’s hard work and talent are an inspiration for all of us.”

You can enjoy a digital version of “The Homeless Rabbit” here.

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