Monday, May 21, 2012

Knuffle Bunny Too

Thank you Haley Bathiany - this is a different type of illustration.

Willems, M. (2008). Knuffle bunny too: A case of mistaken       identity. NewYork: Scholastic Inc. 

The illustrations in this book are BRILLIANT! There is no question as to why it is in the picture book genre. Mo Willems has used one of the most creative medias for creating his illustrations that I have ever encountered. He mixes hand drawn ink cartoon sketches with digital photography. The contrast between the colored sketches and the black and white photography creates dominance throughout the book. The reader's eye is immediately drawn to the cartoon characters in the book. Although the sketches were in color, I found myself purposefully focusing on the small details included in the background photographs. These small details could go unnoticed but really deserve attention. For example, the illustration below shows Trixie, her father, and her bunny walking down the sidewalk. At first glance, you notice a street background, but that is it. If you look closely, you notice a pot of flowers on the front porch where a woman is watering them, as well as other small details that really bring the illustration to life. I really enjoy how Willems integrates the cartoons with the photography and has them interacting together.

I would definitely recommend this story to use in the classroom. The story is about a young girl, Trixie, who takes her favorite stuffed animal (which is her best friend)to school. While she is there she encounters a mix up and a bit of jealousy with a classroom. This is a realistic fiction story that focuses on problems with peers. Fortunately, it ends up turning out for the best in the end. 

I think this book is great for children because most can either identify with having a best "stuffed" friend, or being jealous of another peer at school. Children's literature should always connect to the student and their interests and experiences, and I think this book does this wonderfully. 

I think the most important word for this picture book is "one-of-a-kind". In the beginning of the book Trixie is excited because she was taking her "one-of-a-kind" Knuffle Bunny someplace special. During the story, it turns out that the Knuffle Bunny is not so one-of-a-kind, after all. However, in the end she finds a special friend who IS one-of-a-kind. 

Big Question: Did you ever have a stuffed animal that was really important to you? How was this stuffed animal SIMILAR to a human friend? How was the stuffed animal DIFFERENT than a human friend? 

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