Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-06-28 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 207 user ratings

"Trixie is older now--not so old that she doesn't need Knuffle Bunny, but old enough to take a big trip to visit Opa and Oma in Holland. Knuffle Bunny, however, has a habit of taking unexpected detours. When Trixie and her parents leave the airplane, Knuffle Bunny stays behind ... and the plane goes to China.

Trixie, like any child who loses a beloved toy, is heartbroken, but she's also grown up quite a bit. In the end, she chooses to let Knuffle Bunny go to someone who needs him a bit more than she does. It's a wonderful, heartwarming ending.
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"I was once again taken in by the crazy story of Knuffle Bunny. I loved seeing the progression of Tracy and her very beloved friend. This story was even more zany and far-fetched than the previous two books, but I still wanted to know what the outcome would be. I wasn't surprised by the ending or anything, but the last couple of pages were by far the most sentimental. They were depressingly good. I just love Mo Willems. I would recommend this book.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
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"I'm a HUGE fan of the first two Knuffle Bunny books. This one was maybe too crowded, with small photos and too many specifics... not as memorable and iconic feeling as the others. Maybe like Willems tried to put too much from reality in it- I don't hold it against him, knowing this is the last installment of a very personal story for him, but it lacked the universal, simple charm of the previous books. And the same-seat-on-the-plane-a-week-later coincidence was just a bit hard to swallow :) That said, however, the look on Trixie's face for the middle section of the book is emotional perfection and definitely makes up for what else the book lacks." said.

"Whenever a new Mo Willems book arrives, I can't help but read it right away while I process it. Knuffle Bunny Free continues the wonderfully tradition that Willems began in the previous Knuffle Bunny installments. This time, though, we see young Trudy a little more grown up as she visits her grandparents in Europe. Her age reflects a bit more maturity, which young readers will admire. The pictures are as brilliant as ever, juxtaposing colorful, expressive characters against black and white photograph backgrounds. It should go without saying that this Willems book is highly recommended for families." said.

"Aww, this one made me cry. Maybe it was because part of it took place in Holland, where I once lived, and I kept scrutinizing the photos to see if anything looked familiar, and there were a few words of Dutch along the way, maybe because it is a story which resonates with parents and grandparents,or maybe just because Trixie is growing up. (I belatedly notice that the child of another reviewer was likely upset by it.) Caldecott Honor award winner Mo Willems, with his pigeon books, Elephant and Piggie early readers, and Knuffle Bunny is a force to be reckoned with. Here's the URL of an interview with the author:
Read this after you have read the first two. It looks to me like this is the last of the Knuffle Bunny books.
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"I admit that was not eager to read this, the third Knuffle Bunny book. For some reason I had decided that there was no way that Willems could have topped or even matched the first two books and didn't even want to pick this one up from the library. However, my kids felt differently, thank goodness. Willems is a master of the picture book genre and at the risk of sounding totally cliche I must confess that I laughed, giggled, and cried while reading this book. My 11 year old did the same. My 8 year old laughed and giggled and then high-fived me when he said, "Hey, I'm the only person not crying!" It's not a sad story but it just hit the right nerve with my daughter and me. Knuffle Bunny Free is perfect. " said.

"Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems concludes the Trixie and Knuffle Bunny trilogy. Trixie explored her local block, her city and school and now Holland. In each story she has misplaced Knuffle Bunny but this time she left it on a plane now bound for China!

Knuffle Bunny Free is about that time in a child's life when they for one reason or another are ready to part with once beloved toys. Maybe they've out grown them. Maybe they have worn them out. Or maybe they've lost them. It's a rough time; a time of growing up a little bit more and a time for separation anxiety.

For Trixie, having lost Knuffle Bunny in such a permanent way, she's forced with the realization that she has to do without. For her parents there's the shocking truth that children's toys are seasonal, one time things. What was ubiquitous is now out of stock with new styles offered instead.

The book though has two endings, or perhaps an ending and a coda. Both are beautiful, bitter sweat and perhaps tear inducing.
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"Though I did not enjoy the original Knuffle Bunny book, I liked it significantly more than Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. In this book, the young girl loses her Knuffle Bunny while on a plane to visit her grandparents in Holland. She becomes extremely upset when she realizes that it is missing. She even throws a fit when her grandparents decide to surprise her with the new, expensive, top of the line version of Knuffle Bunny. Then when she finally finds Knuffle Bunny again she realizes how much joy it could bring to other children and decides to give it away.
I think that this book showed inappropriate ways of handling a situation (throwing a tantrum when given an expensive gift) without any repurcussions. This shows children that such actions are acceptable when they are not. Also, the lesson (which was painfully obvious) did not fit well with the rest of the story. She just finished a two-week long tantrum then just gives away Knuffle Bunny? Altogether, I did not enjoy this book.

Willems, M. (2012). Knuffle bunny free: an unexpected diversion. New York, NY: Balzer + Bray
" said.

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