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KNUFFLE BUNNY by Mo Willems Kirkus Star


A Cautionary Tale

by Mo Willems & illustrated by Mo Willems

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7868-1870-0
Publisher: Hyperion

Anguish begets language in this tale of a toddler’s lost stuffie. Trixie and her daddy go on an errand to the local laundromat, an odyssey that takes the intrepid pair through the park and past the school and back—but “a block or so later . . . Trixie realized something.” Her desperate attempts to communicate (“AGGLE FLAGGLE KLABBLE!”) proving fruitless, Trixie resorts to time-honored toddler tactics: she bawls and goes boneless. Readers will deduce what Trixie’s clueless daddy does not: her toy bunny has been left behind. Retro-style (think Rocky and Bullwinkle) cartoons depict the human players in the drama; sepia-tinted photographs of the artist’s Brooklyn neighborhood, framed in pale green, provide the backdrops. Willems is a master of body language; Trixie’s despair and her daddy’s frazzlement as expressive as her joy (“KNUFFLE BUNNY!”) and his triumph at the excavation of the errant bunny from the washing machine. The natural audience for this offering is a little older than its main character: they will easily identify with Trixie’s grief and at the same time feel superior to her hapless parent—and rejoice wholeheartedly at the happy reunion. (Picture book. 2-5)