Lost and Found: A Review of ‘Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale’

“When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” – Margery Wilson, The Velveteen Rabbit

Reading Level:

Grades K – 1 [according to common core]

Grade   1      [according to Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which a student reading on grade could read the book independently]

Interest Level: Pre-K – 1

Review and Comments:

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Williams is a humorous story that both parents and children will enjoy. Mo Willems has captured an authentic moment in the everyday life of a father and daughter – one of those moments that is better appreciated when reminiscing after some time has passed.

Daddy and Trixie are happily spending some father-daughter time while accomplishing a chore at the Laundromat. As they walk through the neighborhood Trixie observes all the interesting sights along the way.  Once they arrive at the Laundromat Daddy puts the clothes in the machine while Trixie helps in a way that only a child can help.  They head back home while the clothes are washing.  At one point along the way, Trixie becomes very upset and vocal about something but since she cannot talk yet Daddy has no idea what she is saying.  At first he just agrees with Trixie as parents sometimes do when they don’t understand what their toddler is saying.  That doesn’t work however and Trixie uses more animated body language and increases her volume.  Her effort does not help Daddy understand the problem so he finally picks her up and hurries home.  When they arrive at their apartment door, Mummy sees how upset Daddy and Trixie are and asks where Knuffle Bunny is.  Suddenly, it dawns on Daddy that Trixie has been trying to tell him they left Knuffle Bunny at the Laundromat.  Like any parent in a panic Daddy hurries back to the Laundromat and searches everywhere for Knuffle Bunny.  He finally finds it in the washing machine and of course everyone is relieved. Daddy’s blood pressure returns to normal, Trixie is once again secure and extremely happy, and life is good.

 The illustrations in this book are a combination of photography and cartoons. The black and white photos show the city, park, and Laundromat. The characters are cartoon drawings, and Trixie resembles a picture a child might draw.  The expressions of Daddy and Trixie are animated and perfectly display each emotion of the story. I have to admit I was not a fan of the illustrations of Trixie at first but have grown used to her after watching my grandchildren’s reactions to the story.  They laugh every time they listen to the story and think Trixie is cute and very funny.   My favorite illustration is when Trixie goes boneless, a situation I can definitely relate to as a parent and grandparent.

Children find Trixie’s dilemma and the expressions on her face very real.  Parents on the other hand will be able to identify with so many things: spending time with a child while accomplishing every day chores, trying to find a lost “lovey”, and communicating through body language and undeveloped speech.  Emerging readers and even pre-readers will enjoy the humor of the story. This is definitely a book that will be read or requested many times.

Possible Issues:

There are no issues with this book.

[Note: Trixie is holding a bra helping her Daddy load the washer.]

Further Discussion:

Define Laundromat to improve comprehension.  There may be some children who have never visited or used a Laundromat.

Draw a picture of a favorite possession or toy or take a photograph of your child holding his or her favorite toy.  Write two or three sentences about the toy and why it is special.

  • OR make a video or your child showing his or her favorite toy and explain why the toy is special. [This could be an ongoing activity over many years – a record of your child’s favorite possessions and growth in speech, poise, and personality.]

Make stick puppets of Daddy, Trixie, and Knuffle Bunny.  Retell the story using these main characters.

Make a washing machine with Knuffle Bunny inside.

Watch this cute animation of Knuffle Bunny,

Catholic Resources:

Luke 15: 1-7 The Lost Sheep

Luke 15: 8-10 The Lost Coin

St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost items.  His feast day is June 13.

Prayer to Saint Anthony for a lost item:

“Saint Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find (mention your petition) which has been lost. As least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss.

To this favor I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen.” 

Parents’ prayer for their child:

God the Father of mankind, who hast given unto me these my children, and committed them to my charge to bring them up for Thee, and to prepare them for eternal life: help me with Thy heavenly grace, that I may be able to fulfill this most sacred duty and stewardship. Teach me both what to give and what to withhold; when to reprove and when to forbear; make me to be gentle, yet firm; considerate and watchful; and deliver me equally from the weakness of indulgence, and the excess of severity; and grant that, both by word and example, I may be careful to lead them in the ways of wisdom and true piety, so that at last I may, with them, be admitted to the unspeakable joys of our true home in heaven, in the company of the blessed Angels and Saints. Amen.” /

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