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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale Hardcover – July 12, 2004
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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.
*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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Top customer reviews
The little one isn't reading a lot by herself yet, but she will try harder to read the E&P books than with any other book, ever. And the great part is that she can usually figure out most of the words, and there are only a few words in each book that I will have to tell her what they are. The color coded speech boxes really help kids figure out who is speaking as well (as if the drawings don't do that well enough--they DO!). The pictures are also cute and funny, so kids get and stay engaged.
I would definitely recommend these books for kids 3-10. There is enough repetition that kids feel confident about reading it, but not so much that it feels babyish. In fact, the repetition is quite artful and I think it encourages kids to keep trying without being patronizing. If you are hoping your child will read it themselves, if they know the list of 100 sight words, or can sound out most 3-4 letter words, they will at least be able to "help" read and may be able to read the majority of the book. My 6 year old and I like to each be one of the characters (I'm usually Gerald).
the book is made from some special type of paper. I don't know. They're soft. They're big - it's a large book, really. And they wrinkle really quickly. And then they tear.
My daughter has a ton of books. And she's very good with books. something about the size of the pages or the paper.. I don't know. It tears. I wish this was available in a library sturdy type paper. Or even hard like Curduroy is (makes for a giant book, but it lasts!).
the story is so simple. It's clearly for very young children. I wish the manufacturing part was a tiny bit more sturdy/durable.
We are huge fans of all Mo Willems work--Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was the first story my son ever read on his own and he's currently working his way through the We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) series, which is absolutely perfect for early readers--but KNUFFLE BUNNY has a special place in both my, and my son's heart, as we both have/had special bedtime lovies that offer great comfort ... And have had a few misadventures with us along the way.
As a mom, all I can say is thank you Mo Willems for sharing this universal children's story in the personal twist of your own family tale.