Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems is a picture book about a little girl, Trixie, who goes on an adventure with her daddy down the block, through the park, past the school, and finally into the Laundromat. Trixie has a blast helping her daddy out in the Laundromat. As they walk back home, she realizes something terrible has happened. She no longer has Knuffle Bunny in her arms! As Trixie begins to make all sorts of sounds and noises to try to convey to her daddy the tragedy that has just occurred, her father is just absolutely clueless. They arrive home and immediately Trixie’s mother asks where Knuffle Bunny is. They run back to the Laundromat to find him and in that moment of joy, Trixie shouts her first words, KNUFFLE BUNNY!!
This picture book is not just any ordinary picture book. Mo Willems has artfully pieced together real-life photographs with his original cartoon drawings. The illustrations in this book include hand-drawn sketches and digital photographs of Brooklyn, New York. The photographs have a sepia tone and they provide the background to Mo Willems’s hand drawn ink characters, Knuffle Bunny, Trixie, and her parents. The brightly colored characters offer a visually appealing contrast to the gray scale pictures in the background. The distinction between the realistic background and the cartoon-like drawings really helps capture readers’ attention. Mo Willems also strategically uses a pale green color for all the pages behind the photographs and text which presents another contrast to the photographs. The text, photographs, and ink drawings really work together to tie the whole book together. The book cover is also beautifully made. You can see a realistic photograph in the background and the hand drawn pictures of Trixie and Knuffle Bunny are in vibrant colors. The cartoon drawings are especially shiny and smooth. It really makes the hand drawn illustrations stand out. The book jacket is in a dark green color and it gives a short summary of the book and tells us a little bit about Mo Willems and his other books. The page before the title page shows photographs of how Trixie came to be with a picture of her parents getting married and then a picture of her as a little baby and soon the adventure begins with the title page and Trixie hugging Knuffle Bunny.
This unique picture book is written for children ages 2-5. However, children and adults of all ages can most certainly enjoy this book. This book is definitely appropriate for young children. There is not a lot of text and it is a very simple but amazingly fun read with different nonsense sounds. Children of all ages would enjoy reading this book! This book is also the first of three Knuffle Bunny books. Mo Willems has written two new books since the first one: Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity and Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion. Be sure to check these out as well!