Reaching for his beloved books
Trixie lives in Brooklyn, NY with her mom and dad. She loves helping her dad run errands, like going to the Laundromat. Trixie always brings along her beloved Knuffle Bunny, but when he gets left behind, she can't find the words to tell her dad what happened, instead trying to make him understand "Aggle flaggle klabble!" Will Trixie's father understand her and help her find Knuffle Bunny again?
Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity.
Trixie is excited to start school and show off Knuffle Bunny to all her friends. When she gets to class, she is upset to find Sonja has her own Knuffle Bunny! They fight and the teacher takes their bunnies away - will they get them back and become friends?
Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion.
Trixie is older now, and her family is going to visit Oma and Opa in Holland. Knuffle Bunny comes along for the trip, but never makes it off the plane. Her grandparents try to make her happy with a replacement Knuffle Bunny, one that walks and dances and speaks (in Dutch). It’s cool, but it’s not Knuffle Bunny. Is Trixie mature enough to live without her best and oldest friend?
All that is to say, I never read a Mo Willems books before last semester. The horrors! No, I don't think you're judging me - I literally mean, the horrors! I can't believe I was missing out on such treasures. I read Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs for class and fell in love with the whimsy of Willems, then checked out The Pigeon Needs a Bath when I saw it on display at the library. That reminded me that we need mo' Willems (I'm sorry, I had to!) in our lives. We picked out Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Free without realizing it was a trilogy, so we requested Knuffle Bunny Too from another branch.
My 6-month-old seemed to love the illustrations, and when I read it aloud to my 5-year-old stepson, he had fun taking in every aspect of the pictures. He searched for Knuffle Bunny when he was lost, and tried to predict what would happen next based on the drawings. Days after we read them, he was still talking like Trixie in the first book: "Aggle flaggle klabble!"
A starred review of Knuffle Bunny in School Library Journal raves, “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.” About Knuffle Bunny Free, the same source says “Willems once again conveys a range of emotions through limited text and outstanding illustrations. His sensitivity to children's needs allows the humor to come through without devaluing the feelings. […] This one is a must-have.”
Willems, Mo. 2007. Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. New York: Hyperion Books
for Children. ISBN 9781423102991
Willems, Mo. 2010. Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. New York: Balzer + Bray.
Right before they came tumblin' down!