Thursday, April 10, 2014

Knuffle Bunny -- and more great childhood adventure stories!

Flockhart, Calista, et al. Knuffle bunny --and more great childhood adventure stories. Weston, CT New York: Weston Woods Studios, Scholastic, 2007. DVD.

ISBN:  054505642X

Audience: Ages 2-7, Grade PK-2

Summary: Part of the Scholastic Storybook series, this story is approximately 5 minutes long and is one of six stories included on the DVD. The story starts with a girl and her daddy sitting down to read a book. The story is called Knuffle Bunny and the two discuss the pictures on the end papers. We soon learn that Knuffle Bunny is Trixie’s faithful friend and goes with her everywhere. One day Trixie and her daddy go to the Laundromat. Disaster strikes when Knuffle gets mixed up in some clothes and is lost in the washing machine. Daddy doesn’t know what has happened and is very worried with Trixie’s crying, screaming, and going “boneless.” When they get home, Mommy realizes that Knuffle Bunny is missing and the family races back to the Laundromat to look for her. After searching all the wet clothes, she is finally found, and Trixie says her first words: “KNUFFLE BUNNY!” The movie ends with the girl Trixie and her Daddy discussing the back cover of the book and an “I love you, Trixie” from the Daddy.

Strengths: The narration by the real Mo, Cher, and Trixie Willems is a delight and discovering that they are in fact the true family in the stories would thrill any viewers. The DVD includes an easily navigated menu so that the individual stories can be chosen, and the option to turn a close captioning “Read Along” feature on and off. The jazzy musical track is extremely well done and adds to the mood of the story, while Willem’s traditional background photographs of New York are seamlessly mixed with animation. The quirky way that the characters run in and out of the frames made by the book’s illustrations is engaging and continually reminds the audience that a book is being read.

Weaknesses:    The other stories on the DVD are not as classic and probably wouldn’t be as popular as Knuffle Bunny.  Some critics have said that the book portrays the Daddy in a bad light because he doesn’t realize Knuffle Bunny is missing.

Uses: Videos with closed captions can be used with ESOL students, learning disabled students, and struggling readers for support so that they can read the same material or similar material as their peers.  They also provide an example of fluent reading and appropriate phrasing, intonation, and articulation, as well as practice for critical listening.  Students can discuss character with the added information that the voices in the video are the actual characters from the book (CCSS ELA:RL.3 Grades K-6).  The book could be compared & contrasted with the video (CCSS ELA:RL 7 Grades 4-6). 

·      Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late DVD collection – Mo Willems (the pigeon won’t go to bed, also includes Knuffle Bunny Free – the last Knuffle Bunny book)
·      Knuffle Bunny Too and Knuffle Bunny Free – Mo Willems (the continuation of the Knuffle Bunny story)
·      Llama Llama Red Pajama  -  Anna Dewdney (the llama tries to go to sleep but she wants her mama)
·      Wemberly Worried – Kevin Henkes (Wemberly is anxious about everything, big and small)

Carnegie Medal for Excellence
Parents’ Choice Gold Award

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