by Candace Fleming, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Simon and Schuster, 2014
Mr. McGreely has bunny problems and decides to vacation at the ocean and leave the bunnies behind. But, of course, the “pesky pufftails” sneak aboard and join him. Mr. McGreely is about to enjoy himself, when the “wily twitchwhiskers” appear. Then, to make things worse, every time he partakes in a new activity, they do, too, and ‘outdo’ poor Mr. McGreely. Until they start a castle-building contest. Find out how Mr. McGreely makes the best of the situation.
That’s the plot, but the fun parts are the delightful repetitions and reading aloud all the funny onomatopoeia sounds, like “Crash Smash, Glub, Blub, Blub!”, “Tippy-flash” and “Tippy-Tippy-Tippy Dash.” A playful story and a fun read-aloud when the bunnies, just having fun, consistently outsmart Mr. McGreely.
Knuffle Bunny Free: an Unexpected Diversion
by Mo Willems
HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2010
Another hit by Mo Willems! In this one the illustrations are intriguing. The family takes a trip to Europe. Mo, both the writer and artist, uses travel photos as backdrops for the illustrations. Over each photo he placed his hand drawn characters. Very clever. He says the biggest challenge in doing that was getting permission to get behind the counter of the airport’s scanning equipment to get the photo he wanted.
Knuffle Bunny Free is a change of life story. The young girl carries ‘Knuffle Bunny’, with whom she is inseparable, on the plane; but it is accidentally forgotten when they debark. The girl is grief stricken. Her family calls the airport, but the plane has left for China. Her world collapses, she misses her bunny. Life is not good. But then one night she has a dream in which her bunny comforts boys and girls all over the world and she wakes up feeling peaceful. She is fine. The family takes their seats on their flight home and, to her surprise, her Knuffle Bunny is tucked in the seat pocket. Her parents are relieved, but the girl no longer needs bunny. A squalling baby behind her, she turns to the mother and offers her bunny for the toddler. The mother, and all the passengers, are grateful. Her parents are shocked! A very clear and simple moment in which one child out grows her need for a bunny.
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