Sunday, September 13, 2009

Picture Books: Knuffle Bunny

1. Bibliographic data:
Willems, Mo. Knuffle Bunny. Illustrator: Mo Willems. Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 2004. ISBN: 0-7868-1870-0

2. Brief plot summary:
Trixie and her dad are on the way to do errands and along the way she loses her prize possession. She tries to tell her dad this, but he doesn’t understand what she wants until Mom helps to translate.

3. Critical analysis:
Students are going to fall in love with Knuffle Bunny. It is the perfect mix of story and illustration. The simplicity of the story mixed with the emotions that are exhibited through the pictures, makes this a story that children, teachers, and parents, will all enjoy. Children will connect with the inability of adults to understand everything they say.
The pictures is what grabbed my attention the most. The idea of taking black and white pictures and adding in colorful cartoons make this a Mo Willems story that I will read over and over with my family.

4. Review excerpt(s):
a. School Library Journal: “A seamless and supremely satisfying presentation of art and text.”
b. Booklist: “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.”
c. Awards:
2005 Caldecott Honor Book
2007 Carnegie Medal

5. Connections
a. I would also bring in Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity to read. This continues with Trixie and her Knuffle Bunny, and now Trixie is off to school. I would also bring in other books by Mo Willems, such as the “Pigeon” books. They are so simple, but the children are drawn to them.
b. An activity I would have the students do is to tell about a time when a grown up did not understand what they needed, You could teach mood this was by having them draw a picture of their feelings and discuss how feelings can change a character and the story.

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