Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny FreeIf you have a child under the age of 5, it’s likely you know the Knuffle Bunny picture books about a girl and her stuffed bunny. In the original Knuffle Bunny, baby Trixie loses her bunny and when it’s found, she utters her first words—“Knuffle Bunny”, of course. In Knuffle Bunny Too, preschooler Trixie makes enemies and then best friends with a classmate who also has a Knuffle Bunny (and who pronounces it wrong; the K is NOT silent!). In this third and last installment, school-aged Trixie and Knuffle Bunny fly to Holland for vacation and poor Knuffle Bunny is left on the plane! Trixie is quickly forced to cope without her lovey and over time, and with the help support of her family, she does. She dreams of all the adventures that Knuffle Bunny is having without her and how many children he must be meeting. (For reference, the photographs that Willems includes of Holland and other places are sure to get your child’s travel bug up.)

When (through a rather contrived convenience but hey, it’s a children’s book) Trixie and her beloved Bunny are reunited, Trixie makes a decision to give away Knuffle Bunny to a baby who seems to need it more than she does. Just a warning—very young children may be saddened by the thought of giving away a much-loved toy—so the book is not for everyone. But Willems ends the trilogy on what I feel is a high note—Trixie is mature enough to want Knuffle Bunny to be where he is needed the most (kind of like the ending of Toy Story 3, if I didn’t just completely spoil that for you).

The book ends with Mo Willems’s tribute to the real-life Trixie, now aged 9, where the author imagines the life his daughter is going to have. And who knows, maybe one day Trixie will have her own little girl who has a wonderful and faithful friend like Knuffle Bunny.

Posted by: Cindy

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