Willems, Mo. 2004. KNUFFLE BUNNY. Ill. by Mo Willems. New York: Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 078681870-9
(2) Plot Summary
Trixie and her daddy walk to the Laundromat. On the way back home, Trixie realized she left her stuff bunny, Knuffle Bunny, behind. She is not yet speaking and babbles to her daddy but he does not comprehend. Unable to communicate properly Trixie throws a temper tantrum the rest of the way home. When they arrive home her mommy immediately notices that Knuffle Bunny is missing. The family races back to the Laundromat and Trixie’s daddy rescues Knuffle Bunny from the washing machine. With her beloved Knuffle Bunny back in her arms Trixie speaks her first words, “Knuffle Bunny!!!”
(3) Critical Analysis
The dynamic main character of this story is a little girl about 2 years old named Trixie. Her daddy and mommy are the supporting characters. The way Willems displays the gibberish (baby talk) in the text accentuates the desperateness of the situation. The family plight of running down the block, through the park, and past the school creates even more drama. Knuffle Bunny should still be at the Laundromat but there is the possibility that he is not and Trixie has lost him forever.
The illustrations are a fascinating combination of hand drawings and photos. The background images consist of black and white photography while the people are drawn and colored in. Willems has a unique technique of employing strong yet sketchy lines. The pictures also provide a brief flashback in the beginning of the book. The readers get to see pictures of Trixie’s parents wedding day, the day Trixie was born, and of the family standing in from of their house in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
(4) Review Excerpt(s)
School Library Journal: “A seamless and supremely satisfying presentation of art and text.”
Publishers Weekly: “Willems once again demonstrates his keen insight with a story both witty and wise.”
* Bring stuffed bunnies and rabbits for children to hold during story time.
* Read other books on lost stuff animals:
Alborough, Jez. Where's My Teddy? ISBN 0-7636-1868-3
Crummel, Susan Stevens. Plaidypus Lost. ISBN 0-8234-1561-9
* Let the adventure continue by reading Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case Of Mistaken Identity. ISBN 1-4231-0299-1