Battle Bunny

battle bunny

Battle Bunny
Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett
Pictures by Matthew Myers
5 Stars

This is two stories in one. Yeah, I know. Lucky readers can read two stories without having to go to the library to get another book. It’s like a bonus story just for picking it up. So, according to the hand-written “dedication” Gran Gran gave Alexander this Birthday Bunny book. It is one of those sappy stories that probably make most grandparents cry. It even has the faded illustrations that make it look like an old-fashioned Golden book from days gone by. But little Alexander isn’t the type to read the sappy story over and over again. He decides to take matters into his own hands and “fix” the story so that he likes it. Readers not only can see the sappy story Gran Gran was so pleased to give to Alexander on his birthday, they can see how Alexander has improved the story. He has crossed out words, added carefully selected letters to re-craft sentences. In addition to the “new and improved” story of Battle Bunny Alexander has also altered the illustrations. With dark pen/pencil lines he has made what was once a cute little bunny an eye-patch wearing Battle Bunny who is intent on destroying the world.

Seriously, this is a funny book. When I brought this home, my 8-year-old nephew grabbed it and wouldn’t give it back until he had read it…multiple times. He laughed and laughed and laughed. (Although my 6-year-old nephew had it read to him…and didn’t get it. But he did think the sappy story was fun.) The little inked-in details on the illustrations are clever enough that readers will have to take time to look at everything, not just read the text. And the text! Even though the one story is sappy, it is worth reading just to get the laughs that come from reading a sappy (albeit sappy in a way that makes fun of sappy) story. Then one can really enjoy reading the Battle Bunny story. This might look like a picture book, but the humor that comes from the irony of the story and what “Alexander” did to the story is definitely perfect for the mid to upper elementary school-aged crowd. And after a youngster has read this book, they might want to head to a closet or a thrift store where they can find their own sappy book to “improve” upon ala Battle Bunny style. My only complaint is that Scieszka, Barnett, and Myers have not done more of these books. I’m sure if “Alexander” has “improved” one book from “Gran Gran” he has improved more. And I for one would love to read more of them…pretty please!

Simon & Schuster, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-4673-1
FORMAT: Picture Book
AGES: Elementary School

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