Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 59: Knuffle Bunny

Oh, how my son loves to read Knuffle Bunny!  There are so many things we love about this story that I don't know where to start.  If you haven't read it yet, you have to find a copy somewhere.  It is fabulous!  First, the general story line:  little Trixie accompanies her daddy to the laundromat with her favorite lovey in tow, only to accidentally leave it behind.  Unfortunately for Trixie and her daddy, she can't yet talk to tell him when she realizes Knuffle Bunny is gone.   "Aggle flaggle klabble!" she yells in desperation.  "That's right," replies her daddy, in a way all of us parents probably have at one time or another, "We're going home."  Nice try, dad.  Frustrated, Trixie tries again.  "Aggle flaggle klabble!  Blaggle plabble!"  Then pointing, "Wumby flappy?" And finally starting to tear, "Snurp."   My son just laughs and laughs and laughs at this part, and loves to say it over and over -- especially the snurp.  What child can't relate to a parent not understanding what he or she is trying to say?  And what parent can't relate to the frustration of the exact same thing?  My son loves the way this exchange plays out, and from a parent's perspective, I think Willems depicts everything about the situation perfectly.  Trixie bawls.  She goes boneless (my favorite part!) until finally, they arrive back home, miserable and cranky.  And then comes my husband's favorite part:  the mom opens the door and immediately noticing he is gone says, "Where's Knuffle Bunny?"  The relevance of the story to both parent and child is priceless, as are many other elements of the story:  the characters' expressions, the emotions they convey, and the illustrations throughout.  I just love the black and white photographs that serve as the background of all the illustrations (from nearby Willems' home in Brooklyn) and the colorful cartoon pictures that are superimposed upon them.  The contrast of the two is so striking and helps keep the pictures from being too busy for young readers.  It's a perfect combination, especially for a story that is short and simple in itself.  I will never forget the time I left "Rocky Racoon" (my favorite stuffed animal at the time) at a Barney ATM machine in Bloomfield, CT.  I was probably four or five, so unlike Trixie was actually able to tell my dad I had left him behind once I realized what had happened.  Also unlike Trixie, however, Rocky was gone when we went back.  I was crushed.   Rocky Raccoon was gone forever.  I'm still kind of scarred, I think.  Fortunately, I haven't yet had to endure such a crisis as a parent, but I'm sure my time will come.  When it does, I'll hope that our Knuffle Bunny tale will also have a happy ending.


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