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Battle Bunny Hardcover – October 22, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This deliciously subversive piece of metafiction skewers—with a sharp wit and a sharper pencil—the earnest, purposeful literature so popular in the middle of the last century. The fun begins with a facsimile of something akin to an antique Little Golden Book, Birthday Bunny, complete with worn cover, yellowed pages, and wholesome message. But the book has been “improved” in story and pictures by a child named Alex wielding his trusty no. 2. The cover, retitled Battle Bunny, now features rockets, planes, bombs, and a general promise of mayhem. And Alex keeps that promise, transforming the insipid story of a sad bunny being cheered by his friends on his birthday into a raucous adventure wherein an evil bunny unleashes a tornado of destruction on the unsuspecting forest until the president is forced to call in one Agent Alex to save the day. Alex’s “edits,” including a complete reworking of the text and plenty of pictorial embellishments, are soaked in testosterone. The animals of the forest become luchadores and ninja warriors; Air Force One and a few presidents (Obama and Lincoln) make appearances; and just about everything explodes. In the end, Alex is victorious, Battle Bunny is vanquished, and the world is safe. At least until Alex and his pencil ride again . . . Grades K-5. --Thom Barthelmess

Review

* “An enthusiastically taboo, devil-may-care outing for combat fans—and a great writing inspiration to use on old books headed for the bin.”
(Kirkus)

* “A hilarious and transgressive story with a clear message: Don’t suffer schlock.”
(Publishers Weekly)

* "This deliciously subversive piece of metafiction skewers--with sharp wit and a sharper pencil--the earnest, purposeful literature so popular in the middle of the last century."
(Booklist, starred review)

* "This is a perfect book to give independent readers who are looking for something a little different. The unique layout and design will inspire creativity in readers."
(School Library Journal, in a starred review)

*"Battle Bunny makes for great entertainment: it's funny, the plot builds, and the protagonist captivates readers' attention. It also begs to be reread and shared. Kids will be eager to compare notes and to relive it with their friends."
(Shelf Awareness, starred review)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442446730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442446731
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Fantastic concept, that's well done.
aaa-Pam
This book is amazing...it instantly connected with my son and we were both laughing at the story within a story.
The Riz!
I highly recommend this book to any boy who is not a huge fan of reading, but has a good sense of humor.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Tibbetts VINE VOICE on November 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
At first glance it appears as though some mischievous child has scribbled all over this book. Upon closer inspection the extraordinary plot unfolds. From the inscription we learn that GranGran, apparently thinking Alex is still a toddler, has presented her “little birthday bunny” with this sappy picture book, “Birthday Bunny” on his “special day.” In response Alex, who is clearly not a toddler and maybe needs to lay off the video games, has taken a No. 2 pencil in hand and transformed the whiny little bunny into a ferocious farting rabbit with super powers. In Alex’s re-write it takes an army of bomb-throwing forest zombies, two presidents, and the real birthday boy to stop this psycho bunny from carrying out his Evil Plan, which involves a rocket.

Sciesczka’s and Barnett’s writing and Myer’s illustrations magically combine to create a rare comedic masterpiece that works on so many levels it’s impossible to describe them all. You must read it for yourself and savor the nuggets of nuance. “Battle Bunny” is wickedly funny.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Remember Duck Amuck? I am referring of course to that old Looney Tunes short where Daffy Duck came to the realization that his fourth wall is a bit . . . faulty. Watching that short, as Daffy is being rubbed out of existence by an eraser I like to think about those kids seeing the short for the first time. Maybe amongst them there are some kids who feel this is a keen bit of transgression. Maybe some are shocked by the fact that unspoken rules are being broken left and right. Or (more likely) maybe they all just go with it. Kids get over shocks to their systems amazingly fast. But even the most jaded amongst them will have to pause for half a second as they take in the brand new picture book Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, and Matthew Myers. Talk about forbidden territory! Here we have a book that espouses the freedom to create over the old established (and, quite frankly, achingly poorly written) order. Parents and children have fought the disparate concepts of creativity vs. law & order since the first toddler took a crayon in a chubby little hand and created a masterpiece on the dining room walls. Battle Bunny just cranks that fight up to eleven.

Open this book and you'll see the following inscription written in a flowery hand. "Happy Birthday, Alexander! To my little birthday bunny on his special day. Love, Gran Gran." It quickly becomes apparent that Gran Gran's present to Alex, a poor man's Little Golden Book-esque bit of schlock called Birthday Bunny was evidently not doing it for her beloved grandson. The entire book looks as though it has been scribbled with a thick black pencil. These aren't random scribbles though. Oh me, oh my, no. Alex has vastly improved what once was a limp tale about a bunny that thinks everyone has forgotten his very special day.
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Format: Hardcover
Such a funny concept. We have here a vapid but otherwise typical children's story about a bunny who thinks his friends have forgotten his birthday, seemingly marked up by a boy slightly too old for it, to make it more exciting. Thus we have an affectionate satire of typical books for children aged 3-5, and an amusing window into the daydreams of boys (mostly) aged 7-9. The execution of both the underlying text and the subsequent annotations are excellent. Sometimes it's enough to change just a few letters on the page to make it more exciting, but the new narrative deviates more and more from the original book, and by the end, the new text and accompanying illustrations (including doodles of President Obama) dominate the page.

My son who is about to turn 7 finds this book delightful. A tip, for kids his age anyway, after reading enough of the book to make clear the concept, read it through once to get the underlying story, then a second time for the annotations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Besides being funny as hell, this book will help stir the creative juices of any third-grade boy. Yes, they are a bit different from girls. I doubt if many girls would enjoy this book, but most boys will, even ones that otherwise don't much like to read. Trust me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tabula on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I AM AN EDUCATIONAL THERAPIST, SO I THOUGHT MY STUDENTS WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK. I PUT IT IN THE WAITING ROOM, AND THEY'VE ALL ASKED ME ABOUT IT AT ONE TIME--USUALLY, "IS THIS AN OLD BOOK OR A NEW BOOK?"

IT TOOK THEM AWHILE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT WAS A SPOOF. BUT, ONCE THEY DID, THEY LOVED IT EVEN MORE...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By karen on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can't wait to share it with all my friends children, especially those with boys. They're going to love it. Check out other books Matt Myers has illustrated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joelle Dodge on July 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my students and their reactions were hilarious. Most of them came to show me the book at first thinking someone had "messed it up." At the end of second grade (8 years old), my students struggled with the actual content. It was very hard for them to keep up with what is basically 2 story lines. In order to get the humor, you have to look at each page's "real" story and then see what the authors have done to revise it. Some of the older students understood it, but I think with another year they would all find the book as cute as I did.

All in all, I'd say that this is a great book to bring out to show how NOT to care for a book, but primary kids may or may not "get" it past that.
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