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Knuffle Bunny Free
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PreS-K-Knuffle Bunny goes international when Trixie and her family fly to Holland to see Oma and Opa. Trixie, excited and slightly sleepy, leaves her toy rabbit behind and doesn't miss him until the plane is on the way to China. Although the grown-ups encourage her to be brave because she's "getting bigger," Trixie remains in a funk until she dreams about her special toy and all the children he encounters on his travels. Soon the visit ends, and Trixie is back on the plane where Knuffle Bunny is waiting in the seat pocket. Just when the story might end, Trixie shows just how brave (and grown up) she is. She gives him to a crying baby and becomes Knuffle Bunny free. At the end, Daddy includes a note to his daughter with the hope that the toy might return years later when she has her own child. Willems once again conveys a range of emotions through limited text and outstanding illustrations. His sensitivity to children's needs allows the humor to come through without devaluing the feelings. The familiar style of photographs with original drawings takes readers along on the journey from New York to Holland, but also from babyhood to childhood. Friends and fans of Knuffle Bunny will readily notice the passage of time since the lovable bunny made his first appearance. Mommy and Daddy have new hairdos, and Trixie is a big girl now. This one is a must-have.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this poignant vacation-themed conclusion to Willems's Knuffle Bunny series, Trixie accidentally forgets her beloved stuffed toy on an international flight, as she travels from Brooklyn to Holland with her parents to visit her Dutch grandparents. Willems emphasizes the way Trixie handles the crisis with all the maturity she can muster: "Trixie tried to enjoy going to the cafe and the swings in the playground," but "[s]he missed her Knuffle Bunny." Her knowing grandparents note "how big she was getting. Trixie understood. She was getting bigger. Even if she wished she wasn't." Willems's color caricatures, superimposed on grayscale photos, track Trixie's shifting moods and resolve, and a gatefold pictures Trixie's cathartic dream of the rabbit meeting other children worldwide. In the previous books, the prodigal Knuffle Bunny always returns, and Trixie always needs him. Here, a growing Trixie proves capable of letting go and, when the rabbit reappears, she chooses the terms of their good-bye. Willems's affectionate saga comes to a reassuring end, letting readers know they can release the treasured objects of childhood without losing their identities or their families' love. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

This denouement is enough to give you goose bumps, and young readers may be wiping the tears from their parents cheeks. Good night, Knuffle Bunny. --Booklist (starred review)" "This denouement is enough to give you goose bumps, and young readers may be wiping the tears from their parents' cheeks. Good night, Knuffle Bunny."--Booklist (starred review)

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