Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion

( 21 )

Overview

Trixie and her family are off on a fantastic trip to visit her grandparents?all the way in Holland! But does Knuffle Bunny have different travel plans?

An emotional tour de force, Knuffle Bunny Free concludes one of the most beloved picture-book series in recent memory, with pitchperfect text and art, photos from around the world, and a stunningfoldout spread, culminating in a hilarious and moving surprise thatno child or parent will be able to...

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Overview

Trixie and her family are off on a fantastic trip to visit her grandparents—all the way in Holland! But does Knuffle Bunny have different travel plans?

An emotional tour de force, Knuffle Bunny Free concludes one of the most beloved picture-book series in recent memory, with pitchperfect text and art, photos from around the world, and a stunningfoldout spread, culminating in a hilarious and moving surprise thatno child or parent will be able to resist.

Bestselling, award-winning author Mo Willems has created an epiclove story as only he can, filled with the joys and sadness of growing up—and the unconditional love that binds a father, mother, daughter, and a stuffed bunny.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this poignant vacation-themed conclusion to Willems's Knuffle Bunny series, Trixie accidentally forgets her beloved stuffed toy on an international flight, as she travels from Brooklyn to Holland with her parents to visit her Dutch grandparents. Willems emphasizes the way Trixie handles the crisis with all the maturity she can muster: "Trixie tried to enjoy going to the café and the swings in the playground," but "he missed her Knuffle Bunny." Her knowing grandparents note "how big she was getting. Trixie understood. She was getting bigger. Even if she wished she wasn't." Willems's color caricatures, superimposed on grayscale photos, track Trixie's shifting moods and resolve, and a gatefold pictures Trixie's cathartic dream of the rabbit meeting other children worldwide. In the previous books, the prodigal Knuffle Bunny always returns, and Trixie always needs him. Here, a growing Trixie proves capable of letting go and, when the rabbit reappears, she chooses the terms of their good-bye. Willems's affectionate saga comes to a reassuring end, letting readers know they can release the treasured objects of childhood without losing their identities or their families' love. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Booklist
"This denouement is enough to give you goose bumps, and young readers may be wiping the tears from their parents’ cheeks. Good night, Knuffle Bunny."
Booklist (starred review)
“This denouement is enough to give you goose bumps, and young readers may be wiping the tears from their parents’ cheeks. Good night, Knuffle Bunny.”
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Knuffle Bunny is the floppy stuffed rabbit so prized by young Trixie in Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too. Trixie of course takes him along when the family flies to Holland to visit her Oma and Opa. When they arrive at the grandparents' house, Trixie suddenly realizes that Knuffle Bunny is gone. And their plane has gone on to China. Trixie tries to feel "bigger," taking the loss as best she can. But throughout the busy visit, she is sad. Oma and Opa try to cheer her with a special new bunny doll, in vain. That night, in a double foldout, Trixie dreams of Knuffle Bunny's adventures in China, and feels better. When the family boards the plane home, a baby keeps crying. Trixie is thrilled to discover Knuffle Bunny in the seat pocket ahead, a coincidence a bit hard to accept. But she is then ready to give him up to cheer the baby, for the beginning of a new friendship, and story. We follow the tale visually in Willems' illustrations, uncolored photographic settings as backgrounds needed for this travel, with the familiar digitally produced, colorful, cartoon-y characters in the foregrounds. The actions proceed in varying size boxes set against a pale tan background. Readers should easily identify with Trixie and her aspirations toward emotional maturity. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Knuffle Bunny goes international when Trixie and her family fly to Holland to see Oma and Opa. Trixie, excited and slightly sleepy, leaves her toy rabbit behind and doesn't miss him until the plane is on the way to China. Although the grown-ups encourage her to be brave because she's "getting bigger," Trixie remains in a funk until she dreams about her special toy and all the children he encounters on his travels. Soon the visit ends, and Trixie is back on the plane where Knuffle Bunny is waiting in the seat pocket. Just when the story might end, Trixie shows just how brave (and grown up) she is. She gives him to a crying baby and becomes Knuffle Bunny free. At the end, Daddy includes a note to his daughter with the hope that the toy might return years later when she has her own child. Willems once again conveys a range of emotions through limited text and outstanding illustrations. His sensitivity to children's needs allows the humor to come through without devaluing the feelings. The familiar style of photographs with original drawings takes readers along on the journey from New York to Holland, but also from babyhood to childhood. Friends and fans of Knuffle Bunny will readily notice the passage of time since the lovable bunny made his first appearance. Mommy and Daddy have new hairdos, and Trixie is a big girl now. This one is a must-have.—Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Kirkus Reviews
Having survived a trip through the dryer and a horrific case of mistaken identity, Knuffle Bunny and Trixie are headed for Holland to visit Trixie's Oma and Opa. This means a whole lot of waiting before "(finally) getting onto a real airplane!" It will surprise none of their fans that, once at Oma and Opa's, "Trixie realize[s] something!" Alas, retrieving a forgotten bunny from a China-bound airliner proves impossible, even for daddy. Willems uses his arresting technique of digitally placing full-color cartoons in black-and-white photographs against muted negative space, and his pacing is as pitch-perfect as ever. But this is a tale of a girl who's growing up, and, just as Trixie's lip doesn't quiver quite so much, the emotional arc here is flattened. "She was getting bigger. / Even if she wished she wasn't." This feels more like a book for parents than children, a feeling underscored by the coda, an illustrated note to Trixie from her daddy that imagines her growing up and starting a family of her own. It's a whole lot more palatable than Love You Forever, but still—maybe it would have been better for the fictional Trixie not to grow up. (Picture book. Adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061929571
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Series: Knuffle Bunny Series
  • Pages: 52
  • Sales rank: 26,925
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 12.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mo Willems

Mo Willems knows a Good Idea when he sees one. A three-time Caldecott Honor winner (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too), he also won two Geisel Medals and two Geisel Honors for his Elephant and Piggie books. His books are perennial New York Times bestsellers, including Knuffle Bunny Free, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!, and the Cat the Cat series. Before he turned to making picture books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Mo Willems knows a Good Idea when he sees one. A three-time Caldecott Honor winner (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too), he also won two Geisel Medals and two Geisel Honors for his Elephant and Piggie books. His books are perennial New York Times bestsellers, including Knuffle Bunny Free, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!, and the Cat the Cat series. Before he turned to making picture books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 13, 2010

    five stars

    Have you ever had a special toy that you loved so much? If you have then you will love Knuffle Bunny. It is hilarious. It is about a little girl called Trixie who lost her favorite stuffed animal at the Laundrymat. It is so funny when she tries to tell her dad Kuffelbunny is missing. For example, she goes boneless and her eyes pop. Also, she can't talk so she says funny things like "Baggle plabble." After reading this story you'll want to leave your favorite toys at home.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    my son cried!!

    we love this series so much my wife ran out and bought this one. While reading it last night, my wife was hystrically crying. This of course upset my son and he started crying. He was of course concerned about the fact that he would have to give up his "poo shirt & lambie" I tried ot comfort him by telling him that he can keep them as long as he likes although down the road, his wife might think it to be weird,...:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    A must if you've read the previous two. A perfect end for the t

    A must if you've read the previous two. A perfect end for the trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Such a great book!!! I've read it with my girls a million times

    Such a great book!!! I've read it with my girls a million times and I still tear up at the end. The first time I sobbed and had to explain to my girls why this was so touching. Mo Willems is the best!

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  • Posted October 7, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Excellent book for child

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    After sobbing at the end of this book for the third time, I am c

    After sobbing at the end of this book for the third time, I am compelled to write a review. These Knuffle Bunny books are great, and Knuffle Bunny Free is amazing. All of the Knuffle Bunny books are smart and quirky, with stories that little kids love and been-there-done-that scenarios parents can appreciate. But this last one, about Trixie not being ready to grow up and yet "big enough" at the same time is so, so well done. Reading it to my 2 year-old, while she holds on tightly to her very own "Bunny," makes me snuggle her a little tighter and want to hold on to her -- at her Knuffle Bunny age -- as long as I can.

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    Favorite

    Love all three of these, but this is my favorite. Can't get through the end without tearing up. Mo Willems is amazing!

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    Posted October 8, 2010

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