Knuffle Bunny Times Two
Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems is a popular book in our household. It tells the tale of two identical Knuffle Bunnies. One is a pauper who lives with his abusive father. The other is a prince and heir apparent to the throne. As a jest, the Knuffle Bunnies switch clothes and identities. In the process they learn valuable life lessons about how the other side lives.
I could be mistaken with that summary. Either way Knuffle Bunny Too: Knuffle Bunny Harder is an enjoyable cautionary tale for identical twins. As you may have surmised from the title Knuffle Bunny Too: The Wrath of Khan is actually the sequel to Mo Willems’ popular book Knuffle Bunny One: A New Hope. Knuffle Bunny Too: Knuffle Bunny’s Bogus Journey is followed by the final book in the trilogy, Knuffle Bunny Three: The Return of the King.
As fate would have it we read the second book first. It was a gift from a friend whose daughter was familiar with the books. Reading the sequel first was like watching The Empire Strikes Back before any other Star Wars movie – enjoyable. Empire being the best movie of the series, you’d be better off if you stopped watching Star Wars movies after Empire.
Like Empire, Knuffle Bunny Too: Judgment Day is my favourite of the Knuffle Bunny trilogy. Having not read the prequel prior to reading this book, I’d always assumed that Knuffle Bunny was a special handmade toy given to Trixie a la a certain other literary bunny made of velveteen. But the fact that another girl in Trixie’s class also has a Knuffle Bunny makes the plush toy seem more like a Cabbage Patch Doll. I probably should have warned you about spoilers prior to that sentence. Oops.
Brief aside, the entire tale is set in the mean streets of New York. Despite not living anywhere near the Empire State, my daughter is convinced that the entire Knuffle Bunny incident takes place at her daycare. When she sees Trixie’s school, my daughter begins to identify the illustrations as other toddlers at her daycare. Not that I correct her.
Anyhow, the bunnies aren’t actually identical. It only took about a dozen readings before I realized the difference. Hint: Look for the bow. It also took a dozen or so reading before I read the story’s epilogue. Call me old fashioned but when there’s a page in a book that says ‘The End’, I consider the book finished and close it up.
Now I have to read the epilogue. My daughter knows that it’s there. I don’t mind, Knuffle Bunny Too: The New Batch with its exhausted-father-saves-the-day storyline is an enjoyable and surprisingly identifiable book. I’ve yet to have a midnight stuffed animal hostage exchange with another father in the streets of New York, but if it means my daughter will sleep through the night, I could see myself doing it.