These perfect pictures of New York City complement the family tale of Daddy who is wrong, wrong, wrong, and Trixie, who is totally right, but can’t yet say words to tell him. Heartwarming and hilarious. – Diantha McBride
And this is the book that sealed that obsession evermore. Mo-tastic. - Pam Coughlan
There have been others, and they are just as good, but this one still makes all of us smile (and my youngest is six now). Sometimes, the first one is still the best. - Melissa Fox
This may be a shocking inclusion on the Top 10 list to some, but for others they might remember that last time I conducted this poll Knuffle Bunny came in at a reasonable #10. Now it moves up three spots, which may owe as much to its continued popularity as to the success of its subsequent sequels. I do wonder if even Mr. Mo knew that Trixie would gain a trilogy out of the tale of one lost bunny.
The plot from my old review reads, “Trixie and her pop are off to the local neighborhood Laundromat one bright and sunny day. They get there, load the clothes, and take off for home when little Trixie comes to an awful realization. Knuffle Bunny, her beloved favorite toy, is missing. Unfortunately for her, she has not yet learned to talk. After some valiant tries (my favorite being the single tearful ’snurp’) she feels she has no alternative but to burst into a full-blown tantrum. This doesn’t make her father any happier and since he hasn’t realized what the problem is, he takes her home as she kicks and screams. Once home, however, her mother quickly asks, ‘Where’s Knuffle Bunny’? Back runs the whole family to the Laundromat where, at long last, the beloved bunny is recovered and Trixie says her first real words.”
Its origin story is rooted in a happy accident. Alessandra Balzer (of Balzer & Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins) was in an office with Mo and his art director as he vaguely told a story about his daughter. Alessandra insisted that he turn the story into a book, so he went home to try. He’d done a comic about his family for a DC comics anthology but, as he says in Leonard Marcus’s book Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter, “the characters weren’t popping and I couldn’t get it to work. Then one of my drawings accidentally fell on top of one of the photographs on my light box, and I suddenly had the idea to combine the two.” That distinctive look is part of what sets KB apart from the pack. He result is that Willems believes that by combining drawings with photos “They’re purer than more realistic drawings of the character would have been, because their design focuses on their emotional side.”
Mo spoke at a SCBWI conference in the Pacific Northwest about five or six years ago. At the time he discussed the fact that Knuffle Bunny was the first Caldecott Honor winner to contain photography in any way, shape, or form. He’s been asked since then why he made such a “bold” choice. The fact of the matter, though, is that he partly saw it as a time saver. Of course, once he got into it he didn’t realize the amount of soul-sucking hours it would take to resize the characters so that they’d be proportional within their photographic environment. As it happens, the result is that he managed to create one of the only (perhaps THE only?) Caldecott Honor winners to incorporate photography into its images.
Said Horn Book, “There’s plenty here for kids to embrace. There are playful illustrations and a simple, satisfyAdd a Comment