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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale Hardcover – July 12, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 439 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Knuffle Bunny Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 1–Trixie steps lively as she goes on an errand with her daddy, down the block, through the park, past the school, to the Laundromat. For the toddler, loading and putting money into the machine invoke wide-eyed pleasure. But, on the return home, she realizes something. Readers will know immediately that her stuffed bunny has been left behind but try as she might, (in hilarious gibberish), she cannot get her father to understand her problem. Despite his plea of "please don't get fussy," she gives it her all, bawling and going "boneless." They both arrive home unhappy. Mom immediately sees that "Knuffle Bunny" is missing and so it's back to the Laundromat they go. After several tries, dad finds the toy among the wet laundry and reclaims hero status. Yet, this is not simply a lost-and-found tale. The toddler exuberantly exclaims, "Knuffle Bunny!!!" "And those were the first words Trixie ever said." The concise, deftly told narrative becomes the perfect springboard for the pictures. They, in turn, augment the story's emotional acuity. Printed on olive-green backdrops, the illustrations are a combination of muted, sepia-toned photographs upon which bright cartoon drawings of people have been superimposed. Personalities are artfully created so that both parents and children will recognize themselves within these pages. A seamless and supremely satisfying presentation of art and text.–Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 1. This comic gem proves that Caldecott Medal-winner Willems, the Dr. Spock and Robin Williams of the lap-sit crowd, has just as clear a bead on pre-verbal children as on silver-tongued preschoolers. On a father-daughter trip to the Laundromat, before toddler Trixie "could even speak words," Daddy distractedly tosses her favorite stuffed bunny into the wash. Unfortunately, Trixie's desperate cries ("aggle flaggle klabble") come across as meaningless baby talk, so she pitches a fit until perceptive Mommy and abashed Daddy sprint back to retrieve the toy. Willems chronicles this domestic drama with pitch-perfect text and illustrations that boldly depart from the spare formula of his previous books. Sepia-tone photographs of a Brooklyn neighborhood provide the backdrops for his hand-drawn artwork, intensifying the humor of the gleefully stylized characters--especially Trixie herself, who effectively registers all the universal signs of toddler distress, from the first quavery grimace to the uncooperative, "boneless" stage to the googly-eyed, gape-mouthed crisis point. Even children who can already talk a blue streak will come away satisfied that their own strong emotions have been mirrored and legitimized, and readers of all ages will recognize the agonizing frustration of a little girl who knows far more than she can articulate. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 120L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (July 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786818700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786818709
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (439 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book that explores the difficulties of communication with a pre-verbal child. A little girl named Trixie starts to cry when she loses her stuffed animal and grows frustrated when she can't explain to her father what has happened. Her father, who hadn't noticed that the bunny was missing, tries to calm her down by talking about other things, which frustrates the litttle girl even more.

The psychology of the book is very realistic and simple: this is exactly the kind of thing that happens to small children before they can talk, and the book written as much for the parents as it is for the kids. (My child points and smiles with satisfaction at the panel where the father realizes the mistake he's made, and Trixie has an I-told-you-so look on her face. For my part, I try not to lose things... ever! :-)

It's also nice that the book is set in an urban environment (Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY)... A book that shows a walk to the laundromat may be a welcome change of pace for parents who live in cities and wonder when the heck they are ever going to get the chance to see a bunch of barnyard animals...

In short, the appeal of this book is in understanding and validating the experience of children at a time in their lives when their voices are hard to hear. If you like "Knuffle Bunny," you might also want to search for the equally charming (but sadly out-of-print) "Hi!", written by Ann Herbert Scott, with pictures by Glo Coalson. That book is searching for as well. Both books may help you understand what it feels like to be so little and have it be so hard to get adults to understand you.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, right off the bat I'm going to do a little exercise with you. Now, as you may or may not know, author Mo Willems based the name Knuffle Bunny after a Dutch term for something cute and cuddly. Therefore, the pronounciation of the title, according to him, should not be "nuffle" bunny but instead "k-nuffle" bunny. So let's all say it together, shall we? K-nuffle Bunny. K-nuffle Bunny. K-nuffle Bunny. Got it? Good. Because this book is so well written and so much fun that it deserves to be pronounced correctly when being read to screaming hoardes of children. Not since Willems' grandiose, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" (still my favorite read-aloud book of the century) has an author so perfectly attuned himself to the hopes, dreams, and fears of the toddlers and early readers of the world. This book is a fun fabulous romp.

Trixie and her pop are off to the local neighborhood Laundromat one bright and sunny day. They get there, load the clothes, and take off for home when little Trixie comes to an awful realization. Knuffle Bunny, her beloved favorite toy, is missing. Unfortunately for her, she has not yet learned to talk. After some valiant tries (my favorite being the single tearful "snurp") she feels she has no alternative but to burst into a full-blown tantrum. This doesn't make her father any happier and since he hasn't realized what the problem is, he takes her home as she kicks and screams. Once home, however, her mother quickly asks, "Where's Knuffle Bunny"? Back runs the whole family to the Laundromat where, at long last, the beloved bunny is recovered and Trixie says her first real words.

I haven't read any of the other reviews of this book yet, but I can already predict a potential objection to this tale.
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Format: Hardcover
You have to buy this book just to see the illustration of a toddler going "boneless". I never realised that going floppy and refusing to stand up actually had a name! Gosh...I'm totally bamboozled by some of the negative review comments this book has received (thankfully in the minority). I love Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus but I think Knuffle Bunny is something really special. No.... there's no deep and meaningful plot or moral, just a pre-verbal toddler who loses her favourite toy and is unable to articulate this to her father. It is the fact that any parent or child can identify with this very common everyday occurrence that makes this book so appealing. The unusual marriage of real black and white photographs with the gorgeous cartoons make this a really striking book visually. So... if you would like a lovely, innocent, engaging book with a readily identifiable story line (and amazing illustrations), buy this book. If, however, you prefer childrens' books that have a complex plot/underlying moral etc. you may be disappointed.
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A Kid's Review on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
My name is Daniel Berrios and I am 7 years old. My English teacher read this book to us in class and I thought it was funny. My favorite part was when the dad is angry. I recommend this book for my family. I also like this book by Mo Willems: The Pigeon Has feelings Too. I hope you think it is cool.
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Format: Hardcover
I also teach children to write personal narrative stories, and bought this book specifically to teach the craft of writing. When Trixie is upset about losing Knuffle Bunny, her "dialog" is unintelligible and her facial expressions tell the story of how upset she is, over several pages. What a great way to show young writers how an author can focus in on one small moment, tell its story in depth and detail, and use sound effects in the process! Further, the fact that the reader knows how upset Trixie is, without Trixie saying any intelligible words, demonstrates the importance of how pictures enhance and tell stories. Adorable illustrations added to a story to which all children can relate has me convinced that this book is bound to be a winner in my first grade class.
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