Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Knuffle Bunny" by Mo Willems

"Knuffle Bunny": A Cautionary Tale
Illustrated and Written by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for children)
Published 2003
Calecott Metal Winner 2005
                     "Knuffle Bunny" is such a great story in which I am sure most of us can relate to as a child. This book is about a little girl named Trixie who goes on a neighborhood walk with her dad and brings her favorite stuffed animal/ bunny with her on the days adventure. They come across several different places that day, but the laundromat was the final destination on this days adventure with dad around the neighborhood.
                      This was obviously Trixie's favorite toy that went everywhere with her and barely left her side. Unfortunately, this was the day that Trixie would loose her precious attachment to her in which she then throws the biggest fit of pure panic!
                      It was upon her arrival at home where Trixie's parents discover the bunny was missing. Her dad wasn't sure at first why Trixie was throwing a temper tantrum, but mom knew immediately as what the problem was as soon as the door opened. She realized "Knuffle Bunny" was lost! Here was Trixie all this time trying to explain to dad in her baby talk what was wrong, but the only thing coming out of her mouth were screams of desperation.
                      At last retracing their steps, dad and Trixie found little "Knuffle Bunny" back at the laundromat. No sooner there was Trixie with a smile on her face once again as bunny was back in her arms. Ironically "Knuffle Bunny" was Trixie's first words.
                    "Knuffle Bunny" brought back many childhood memories for me as I too had a security blanket/ stuffed animal that I was attached to that made me as happy as Trixie. I had a pound puppy that I brought everywhere with me, including to bed. I remember I wouldn't and couldn't sleep without this puupy named "puppy" or "coco".
                        The connection to this stuffed animal that I remember as clear as day, that really attached me to this object was that I received it from my parents for a Valentine's Day gift. My brother, sister and I all got different ones on this day. I recall being so happy to get a gift other than your average chocolates on Valentine's day, or at least my Valentine's Day's.
                          Being I was and still am so close to my parents, the gift of this stuffed pup made me attached to the object even more so because it was given to me out of love from mom and dad. It would comfort me in the dark, and having it close by made me feel relaxed. It was almost as if because it was touched with my parents love, I felt I had to keep this stuffed pup close to my heart. This object, I will shamelessly admit stood with me throughout adulthood and still is in eyes view to this day. I may not sleep with "puppy" anymore, but at a glance it still melts my heart.

                           Many times I have come close to loosing "puppy" like Trixie lost "Knuffle Bunny", and my heart sank like hers did. Sheer panic would rush to me and perhaps I did shed a tear or two, maybe even a temper tantrum like little Trixie did as well. But unlike Trixie, my "lost" spots where "puppy" would be found would be  hamper or twisted in my own sheets!
                          I thought that the story of "Knuffle Bunny" is a joyous one at best. I am sure most of us can relate on some level to this book in that most of us had a "security blanket" or "stuffed toy" that we were attached to and lost.Hopefully your stories of attachments to things as a child ended as a happy one, as mine and Trixie's did in that our toys were found! I think the book shows that it is ok to be attached to something that makes us feel safe. A child sometimes needs that reassurance to get through the day. As a child grows, I'm sure the object now becomes a memory that will live in our hearts always, that may be left behind physically, but stays with us in out hearts and minds forever.


1 comment:

  1. Deborah,

    I, like you, enjoyed reading this book. Where as I could not relate to the character in this book, you showed us how you can relate to Trixie.

    I enjoyed reading the story behind your stuffed animal that you loved the most, and emphasised every emotion you held for that animal.

    By reading about your experience, you were able to bring Trixie to life for me. I could see her reactions to losing Knuffle Bunny and then the joy that overcame her when he was found.

    You brought out the true significance of 'Knuffle Bunny' and what this doll meant to her. You also brought out the emotions a child feels towards an object of great importance.