Battle Bunny

( 2 )

Overview

Encourage creativity with this wildly entertaining picture book mash-up from the minds of Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett.

Alex has been given a saccharine, sappy, silly-sweet picture book about Birthday Bunny that his grandma found at a garage sale. Alex isn’t interested—until he decides to make the book something he’d actually like to read. So he takes out his pencil, sharpens his creativity, and totally transforms the story!

Birthday Bunny ...

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Overview

Encourage creativity with this wildly entertaining picture book mash-up from the minds of Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett.

Alex has been given a saccharine, sappy, silly-sweet picture book about Birthday Bunny that his grandma found at a garage sale. Alex isn’t interested—until he decides to make the book something he’d actually like to read. So he takes out his pencil, sharpens his creativity, and totally transforms the story!

Birthday Bunny becomes Battle Bunny, and the rabbit’s innocent journey through the forest morphs into a supersecret mission to unleash an evil plan—a plan that only Alex can stop.

Featuring layered, original artwork that emphasizes Alex’s additions, this dynamic exploration of creative storytelling is sure to engage and inspire.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
Battle Bunny is another so-called postmodern book, merrily upending readers' expectations about what a children's book should be…Parents may…feel an instinctive dislike of seeing a book defaced. It's a taboo, of sorts, for book lovers, which is probably why it gives third graders a frisson of excitement. They're old enough to know they would get into trouble for treating a book that way—certainly a schoolbook or a library book. The urge to rewrite, though, is a creative one, and there is exuberance, bravery and brash authority at work here.
Publishers Weekly
Scieszka and Barnett wonder what would happen if the young recipient of a dorky picture book, Birthday Bunny, decided to... improve its treacly text and soppy pictures, and make himself the hero to boot. Scrawling in pencil over the original story and its creamy, vintage-style oil images, Alex rechristens the book’s main character, Birthday Bunny, as Battle Bunny, turning the floppy-eared cutie into a helmeted, eye patch–wearing, saw-wielding global nemesis, complete with an Evil Plan and knowledge of 1,104 fighting styles. “Today is Judgment day!” announces one of Battle Bunny’s friends-turned-foes. “Yes it is,” replies the warmongering rabbit. “Judgment day for you!!!” Can anyone stop Battle Bunny? How about a certain boy who’s very good with a pencil? Kids should absolutely not try this at home (at least not with library books), but they’ll get plenty of vicarious laughs out of Alex’s changes, which becomes so extensive and freewheeling that the original book (about an innocuous forest surprise party) is all but illegible. A hilarious and transgressive story with a clear message: Don’t suffer schlock. Ages 5–9. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)
starred review Booklist
* "This deliciously subversive piece of metafiction skewers—with sharp wit and a sharper pencil—the earnest, purposeful literature so popular in the middle of the last century."
Shelf Awareness
"Battle Bunny makes for great entertainment: it's funny, the plot builds, and the protagonist captivates readers' attention. It also begs to be reread and shared. Kids will be eager to compare notes and to relive it with their friends."
starred review Shelf Awareness
* "Battle Bunny makes for great entertainment: it's funny, the plot builds, and the protagonist captivates readers' attention. It also begs to be reread and shared. Kids will be eager to compare notes and to relive it with their friends."
The New York Times
"This book says 'Welcome!' to children."
The Horn Book
"It’s all very clever...."
in a starred reviewe BCCB
* "The resulting text is thus an honest reflection of the ways kids interact with books—in a way that’s accessible to kids themselves—as well as a complexly layered work of comic genius."
SCIBA
A Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Bestseller for Children’s Illustrated Books
National Public Radio
A "Best Book of 2013!"
in a starred review School Library Journal
* "This is a perfect book to give independent readers who are looking for something a little different. The unique layout and design will inspire creativity in readers."
Northern California Independent Booksellers Association’s
2014 Picture Book of the Year
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Alex is not happy with his grandmother's gift of a "baby" book entitled Birthday Bunny, so he takes a pencil to it. He changes the title to Battle Bunny. Then he marks through much of the text, adding new words and pictures as he converts the story into an action-packed fight in the forest. Battle Bunny equipped with saws drawn in each hand is intent upon his evil plan to cut down all the trees. Alex inserts himself as the hero. He calls the President and enlists the help of the woodland creatures in an effort to save the forest. The President arrives aboard Air Force One and calls in the Kenji Fighting Force—telling Alex that he does not need a kid's help. But, alas, he does need Alex's help and Alex saves the day due to his special birthday powers. The original text and illustrations can be clearly seen under the changed story line. Individual readers may have a good time discovering all the changes and deciding whether or not Alex improved the story. There are too many small details for the book to be used for group story times. Part of the "Adorable Bunny Collection" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
★ 11/01/2013
Gr 1–3—Alex is clearly too old for the sappy picture book that his Gran Gran gives him for his birthday. Originally entitled Birthday Bunny, about a bunny who thinks his friends have forgotten his birthday, he spices it up by changing the title to Battle Bunny and making the main character an evil carrot-eating mastermind that is trying to take over the world. The boy also changes the dialogue frequently. For example, the crossed out text says, "Everybody needs a Special Thinking Place where they can think their best thoughts. Where is your Special Thinking Place?" The new, much-improved and hilarious text reads, "Everybody needs an Evil Plan Place where they can launch their Evil Plans. Where is your Evil Plan Place?" The tweaks to the oil and pencil illustrations, such as adding an eye patch and WWF wresting belt to the bunny, are priceless. This is a perfect book to give independent readers who are looking for something a little different. The unique layout and design will inspire creativity in readers.—Brooke Rasche, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
What if a creative, military-obsessed kid took a pencil and went to town on a boring old book? This bold premise will cause some eye-popping as the Don't Write In Books rule is gleefully violated. Scieszka and Barnett's story is laid over a particularly saccharine and tepid picture book, a gift from Gran Gran to Alexander for his birthday. "Everybody needs a Special Thinking Place," the text coos. "Where is your Special Thinking Place?" In the foundation story, Birthday Bunny anticipates birthday gifts, finds that his friends have forgotten, pouts, gets a surprise party and learns a lesson. Myers' underlying oil paintings--some covering a whole page, others oval-shaped on faded cream paper that's yellowing at the edges--feel decidedly old-fashioned. But neither prose nor pictures are safe from the pencil bandit. Copious words and fragments of words are struck through (though all remain clearly legible), with new words and letters hand-printed above. Careful, childlike pencil drawings (realistically smudged) enhance and completely reflavor the original paintings. Birthday Bunny is given an eye patch and a WWF belt, becoming Battle Bunny: "I am going to whomp on you, bird brain, and pluck you like a sick chicken!" Bunny's weapons include megatron bombs and robot killer bees. "He went back to digging" becomes "He went down for the count." An enthusiastically taboo, devil-may-care outing for combat fans--and a great writing inspiration to use on old books headed for the bin. (Picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442446731
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 56,017
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Scieszka

Jon Scieszka is the creator of Trucktown, including the New York Times bestselling Smash, Crash!, and the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man, and many other books that inspire kids to want to read. He has worked as an elementary school teacher and is the founder of GuysRead.com, a literacy initiative for boys.

Mac Barnett is the author of the Brixton Brother series and several picture books, including Guess Again! and Chloe and the Lion (both illustrated by Adam Rex), and the New York Times bestseller Extra Yarn. He’s on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center, and founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers. Mac lives in Oakland, California.

Matthew Myers’s career as a children’s book illustrator began in 2011 with two starred reviews: Publishers Weekly, which named him a Flying Start, and Kirkus Reviews, which said: “Myers’s oil paintings truly amaze.” Since then he has illustrated several books, including Clink, Tyrannosaurus Dad, A is For Musk Ox, Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind, and Battle Bunny. Rather than adapting each book to his own style, Myers prefers to adapt his oil painting style to best fit the idea of each book he is working on. He lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can see his illustrations and fine art at MyersPaints.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Interesting premise

    I enjoyed the premise that a child would "over-write" the text in a book to make the story their own. That said, the book didn't have as much of a story as I had hoped. Kids will connect with the scrawled illustrations, and there are a few chuckles to be had, but overall it is a bit one note joke in style.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    This book is hilarious!  What a great idea! Jon Scieszka's books

    This book is hilarious!  What a great idea! Jon Scieszka's books are always a favorite.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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