Monday, July 18, 2011

Knuffle Bunny, A Cautionary Tale

Willems, M. (2004). Knuffle bunny, a cautionary tale. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

This book is a 2005 Caldecott Honor book.

Exposition: Trixie, a baby who is too little to speak, goes with her father to the laundromat.
Conflict: They walk through the park, all the while Trixie is carrying her beloved stuff animal, Knuffle Bunny.
Rising Action: While at the laundromat, Trixie helps her dad load the laundry into the machine.
Climax: Trixie and her dad head for home.  About a block away from the laundromat, Trixie realizes she does not have Knuffle Bunny!  She uses her baby words to try to tell her dad, who, of course, does not understand what she is trying to say.
Falling Action: Trixie tries everything to get her dad to understand that she has lost her Knuffle Bunny, but to no avail.  Her daddy is very frustrated and upset with her.
Resolution: They get home, Trixie's mom opens the door and immediately asks where Knuffle Bunny is.  The whole family runs back to the laundromat and they find Knuffle Bunny in the washer.  Trixie then shouts out her first words, "Knuffle Bunny!"

Mo Willems, the author and illustrator, is very creative with his illustrations, which are a combination of drawings of the characters placed onto actual photographs for the background. These illustrations do an excellent job of reinforcing the text.  Even though Trixie can't talk you can see her emotions through the illustrations.  The black and white photographs are a great backdrop to the colorful characters.

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