If Ralph S. Mouse felt more like a foul ball than a home run, you will find that with Knuffle Bunny...and More Great Childhood Adventure Stories, Scholastic have nailed one straight out of the park. They've given us Mo Willems' Caldecott Honor tale Knuffle Bunny on the newest release in their Storybook Treasures Collection. Willems' super simple, yet impossibly adorable tale involves a city dwellin' dad and Trixie, his sweet lil' toddler and their trip to and fro the neighborhood laundromat. The dialogue is sharp and honest, the way most dad's probably talk in casual conversation with their little pre-talkers. The illustration here in video format matches the book, with black and white photographs of cityscapes as backdrops for Dr. Katz-style animations (sans the shaking).
The other five childhood adventure stories presented here are also outstanding. While not very topical in my neck of the woods right now, "Planting a Rainbow" is a sweet story of a mom and daughter sowing seeds for a special flower and veggie garden. Seems a bit out of place on an Autumn release though. I would have enjoyed seeing this as a new release teeing up the Spring planting season, but you will surely find the story endearing and cute year round especially if you enjoy sharing the love of nature and gardening with your tiny tots, just as we do. The final chapter of this DVD is another nice little short that would have been better placed just before the school year began. "Will I Have a Friend" tackles a common conundrum for kids - being the new boy or girl in school. The quiet story takes place over one school day as Jim, our pint-sized hero, wonders who will be his friend during rest time, snack and free play. It should be reassuring to our children to see Paul befriend Jim, showing that a new school or class need not be TOO intimidating. The Mrs. and I could definitely have used this one in early June and then again in early September as the Bear was adjusting to new a daytime environment.
Knuffle Bunny...and More Great Childhood Adventure Stories is not out till Tuesday the 30th, but you can preorder it now for pretty darn cheap.
Pick up the DVD from Amazon.com and/or watch a sample video of Knuffle Bunny.