Battle Bunnyby Jon Scieszka
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/b>
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.
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
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)
Meet the Author
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
This book gave me a great idea on an activity to do with students with books that are discarded or ripped. They can rewrite the book and make the book their own. Welcome to Battle Bunny. I laughed reading parts of this book and I think some children will enjoy this more than others as parts of it were about destruction and coming out ahead in the long run. I enjoyed it as I liked the way the author took the book and made it appear as if they deconstructed and rewrote it to fit their own needs (like a child would). I think this book would appeal to many children. The illustrator followed this same notion and added pictures to the original illustrations using a black/gray marker. Adding text above the original text, crossing text out, adding beginning and ending to words, the author created a completely different book. By crossing off letters the second page of this book reads, “I am a Battle Bunny” instead of the original text of “I am a Birthday Bunny.” Drinking brain juice and greasy guts instead of carrot juice and Carrot Crispies for breakfast these two bunnies are total opposites. Battle Bunny has super power over all his enemies and with no one to stop him he sets out to begin his evil plan. The pictures are funny and each page is full of illustrations as now there are added drawing accompanying the colored original illustrations. I would suggestion this book be geared to older elementary children as the word butt, insane, birdbrain, stratosphere, eliminate and megaton are mentioned.
This book is hilarious! What a great idea! Jon Scieszka's books are always a favorite.