I have almost left the world of children’s picture books, but every so often one comes across your path that you have to share.
In Knuffle Bunny, Trixie is a toddler out with daddy for the day when Knuffle Bunny gets lost. Oh no! The expressions on Daddy’s face during Trixie’s tantrums are fantastic.
In Knuffle Bunny Too Trixie is now a little older, having started pre-school. She takes her one and only special Knuffle Bunny to school only to discover that he is not so ‘one of a kind’ after all. The page my children loved here was when Trixie finally realises the wrong knuffle bunny has come home with her and the caption to the illustration is ‘Trixie’s daddy tried to explain what “2:30am” means.’
The final in the series, Knuffle Bunny Free, shows Trixie as a schoolgirl, still with her treasured Knuffle Bunny on an international trip. We know what’s going to happen as Knuffle Bunny has been mislaid twice before. How Willems demonstrates it though is marvellous: older children will realise the truth that we do all eventually learn to cope with lost toys, and younger children will see how this could happen.
Overlaying these lovely stories are fantastic illustrations: photographs of scenes (mostly set in New York), with wonderfully expressive cartoon people drawn over them.
My 7 year old loved these, the older two both appreciated the humour and I really enjoyed reading them aloud. Highly recommended.