Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-10-03 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 207 user ratings

"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:
" said.

"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.
" said.

"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.

"Mo Willems is the current children's book Juggernaut. It seems all of his books are hits. His Pigeon books are hilarious. His Elephant and Piggie series: brilliant.

Of his oeuvre though, I contend that the Knuffle Bunny series is the best. Of the 3 books, 2 won the Caldecott Medal.

So, we read all three in order tonight. Here is Eleanor's review for the third one:

Me: At first you wanted to give this one 3 stars, because (view spoiler)" said.

"This is the third book in the Knuffle Bunny series. In this book Trixie goes on a vacation to visit her grandparents. Knuffle Bunny is Trixie's stuffed animal rabbit who she loves. Her grandparents live all the way in Holland! She does not realize she leaves her dear friend behind until Knuffle Bunny is on his way to China! Tribe grows up in the story and learns she can live without her Knuffle Bunny.

Mo Willems does an amazing job at intertwining emotions in this short children's book. I would recommend students in grades K-2 to read this book. I would use this in my classroom to create predictions. As a class we could read the first couple of pages and then predict what is going to happen at the beginning, middle, and end. We could then monitor our predictions as we read the book to either change, or keep, our predictions.

This book was an honor book for the Caldecott Medal.
" said.

" So, I’m standing in BN with tears in my eyes. I do love Mo Willems. " said.

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