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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale



Last updated Monday, July 7, 2014

Author: Mo Willems
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 0786818700
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2014

Synopsis: Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind. Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

Note to readers:
•  This is a very short book, so you might want to do a walk through & be prepared with lots of discussion topics.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who (or what) is Knuffle Bunny?
•  Where are the people & Knuffle Bunny? Where are they going?
•  Do you have a favorite stuffed animal?
•  What is different about the pictures on the front & back cover? Are they real photographs, cartoons or both?

Vocabulary:
•  cautionary - to serve as a warning
•  errand - a short trip taken to do or get something especially for someone else
•  laundromat - a place where people go to do their own laundry
•  zoomed - to rush or run as fast as possible
•  boneless - to be without a bone or bones
•  fussy - when a person complains or whines
•  bawled - to shout or cry noisily

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where do they live? In the country or the city? Does it look similar to your neighborhood?
•  How do you they get to the laundromat?
•  What item of clothing are they watching? (swimsuit, pants, etc)
•  What are Trixie and her dad doing as they are walking up the block? (whistling & looking around)
•  What does Trixie realize on the way home? How does she feel? How can you tell how she is feeling and reacting?
•  What is she trying to say?
•  How do the others on the street react? (Notice the t-shirt the guy in the park is wearing is the pigeon from Mo Willems other books.)
•  Have you ever lost a favorite stuffed animal or toy?
•  What is the "cautionary tale" from the book? What did Trixie learn from losing Knuffle Bunny?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a washer/dryer. Cut a hole in construction paper (volunteers can do this ahead of time - just make sure to cut the hole a little smaller than a baggie). Tape a sandwich baggie to the back of construction paper, except for the opening of the baggie. Draw small pictures of clothing & a favorite stuffed animal or toy & cut out. Put the cut-outs inside the baggie & close, then you can "tumble" the items by turning it around. (see sample)
•  Draw colorful cartoons of people & stuffed animal & paste onto black & white photos.

Special activities:
•  Have kids stand up, then go "boneless" like Trixie does when she is upset.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!