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Battle Bunny

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,826 ratings  ·  443 reviews
Encourage creativity with this wildly entertaining picture book mash-up from the minds of Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett.

Alex has been given a saccharine, sappy, silly-sweet picture book about Birthday Bunny that his grandma found at a garage sale. Alex isn't interested - until he decides to make the book something he'd actually like to read. So he takes out his pencil, shar
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 2013)
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Journey by Aaron BeckerThe Dark by Lemony SnicketThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew DaywaltFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown
2014 Mock Caldecott
18th out of 78 books — 205 voters
The Dark by Lemony SnicketThat Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo WillemsUnicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob SheaFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleExclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2013
12th out of 99 books — 109 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,902)
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karen
this is a wonderful idea: take a sappy book with a trite story and a heartwarming message and MAKE IT SO MUCH BETTER BY ADDING WEAPONS AND ESSPLOSIONS!!



this is was a story about a little bunny on his birthday. he woke up soooo excited that he was going to see all his friends and they would throw him a party and he would get presents and everyone would shower him with attention and cake. but oh no! looks like everyone forgot it was his birthday because they have other things going on in their liv
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Donalyn
Brilliant. I can imagine bringing in Little Golden Books and inviting my students to revise the book into original stories.
Ronyell
Bunny

After reading Jon Scieszka’s famous children’s books “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs,” I was really excited to check out some of Jon Scieszka’s latest works! Lo and behold, I happened to stumble upon one of Jon Scieszka’s most recent children’s book “Battle Bunny (or Birthday Bunny),” co-written by Mac Barnett along with illustrations by Matthew Myers (along with some help from Alex) and this was a pretty interesting read!

Story
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Betsy
Remember Duck Amuck? I am referring of course to that old Looney Tunes short where Daffy Duck came to the realization that his fourth wall is a bit . . . faulty. Watching that short, as Daffy is being rubbed out of existence by an eraser I like to think about those kids seeing the short for the first time. Maybe amongst them there are some kids who feel this is a keen bit of transgression. Maybe some are shocked by the fact that unspoken rules are being broken left and right. Or (more likely) ma ...more
John
Brilliant "altered" book that turns a sugary sweet birthday book into a violent quest for absolute power. Fun for all ages.
Kristina
Again, another children's book beats almost all the other fiction books I've read this year. Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers is great. Jon Scieszka writes kids' books that are creative, inventive, and funny. He takes traditional tales and subverts them to be smart and appealing to both children and the adults who have to read them to children. Battle Bunny is the story of a Bunny who is sad because his forest friends haven't recognized that today is ...more
Kathrina
Both a fun story that most young children will enjoy for its irreverence, and also a sly critique on contemporary literacy. Like a picture book version of JJ Abrams's S. Dual narrative, each informing the other, creating a third story-space that belongs to the reader. So much food-for-thought here...
Dolly
Feb 08, 2015 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We love reading books by Jon Scieszka and so I was excited to see this new picture book. The concept is novel and yet I wonder why anyone hasn't thought of this before. The book has a well-worn look to it, with roughed up corners (or at least simulated pictures of roughed up corners). And the book is defaced throughout by a clever little boy named Alex.

The way that Alex inserts himself into the modified story reminds me of the Chester books by Mélanie Watt. And the humor is similar, too, but qu
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Lisa W.
Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* This deliciously subversive piece of metafiction skewers—with a sharp wit and a sharper pencil—the earnest, purposeful literature so popular in the middle of the last century. The fun begins with a facsimile of something akin to an antique Little Golden Book, Birthday Bunny, complete with worn cover, yellowed pages, and wholesome message. But the book has been "improved" in story and pictures by a child named Alex wielding his trusty no. 2. The cover, retitled B
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Kellee
Full review at: http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=2447

This picture book would be so much fun as a read aloud (original story than the modified one). Also, I can also picture bringing in picture books (maybe older ones or bought at a used book store) and letting the students modify their own! How much fun!

This book made me laugh out loud! What a perfect insight into the mind of a young boy (reminds me of so many doodles I’ve seen on papers over the year!). Also, I was blown away by the creativi
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Romelle
My poor disturbed 4-year-old nephew kept asking, "why did someone write in the book?" My 10 year-old son's response to the book was, "That's pretty cool. I want to do that and change the story of a book too. Do you have one I can write on?"

Those two responses can create a problem. Regardless, it's a very funny book. The dynamic duo of Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett never fails to put on a great show that is sure to entertain!

The story can be overwhelming and confusing to read with all the "graffit
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Carrie Gelson
This title gets full points for its highly appealing "revision" to make a book absolutely kid appreciated. Mind you, not just kid, as my husband read it and instantly wanted to buy a copy for his father for Christmas! It is the creative license that this book celebrates - the humour, the scribbles, the reinventing of a character . . . that I love. Also worth noting - I showed the book trailer to my class and they ask me about 15 times a day if I have bought the book yet! (Can't wait to book talk ...more
Daniel Thornton
When I saw this book on the shelf at the library, I couldn't resist picking it up. And when I saw it was by Jon Scieszka, I knew I'd have to bring it home with me. I'm sure many others from my generation will, like me, be immediately reminded of Strong Bad's "Everyone is Different." As funny as that particular sbemail was, this is much more suitable as an actual children's book.
I first read this to my 4-year-old daughter as "Birthday Bunny" at her request. This is still the version she prefers.
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Sarah
Battle Bunny by John Scieszka
Primary Picture Book (Shared Read Aloud)
Jack’s interests run pretty wide. This fractured tale imaginatively covers animals, electronics, and the president (all listed on Jack’s survey). The book also acts as an inspirational example of creative writing and art, which are listed as things Jack wants to know more about. While at first glance this book may seem like a good pick for independent readers, even proficient/advanced primary students may get stuck within the h
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Michael
This insane parody is a laugh a minute. Aren't there some stories you just wish you could rewrite? Kudos to the authors who not only created the jokes, but created a "sweet and syrupy" book first that they then crossed out and vandalized with child-like scrawls, lettering, and pictures throughout. Young children might laugh at the story, but children will have to be at reading level to get the whole picture here, because it is pretty ingenious, and plays on the sentence structures a lot.

Warning:
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Carol Royce Owen
Be prepared to be amused, and don't blink, or you'll miss some of the fun. For example, don't miss the title page where you read the sweet sentiment from Alex's grandmother, obviously a grandmother out of touch with her grandson's preferences, or the first page of the story, seemingly unedited, until you look at the illustration and you notice the picture on the wall of a mother bunny leaning over the bed of two rabbits with the words "Drink your poison" written above.. Yes, what was a seemingly ...more
Monica Edinger
Also at educating alice. (Written back in May, but forgot to post it here until now when I saw Betsy's review.)

I am a big fan of subversive books, say the"recommended inappropriate books for kids" featured inLane Smith'sCurious Pages.That said, I also have observed that kids respond better to some of these more than others, an issue I explored years ago ina Horn Book article "Pets and Other Fishy Books." So when I ran into Jon Scieszka a few months ago and he excitedly told me about the forthcom
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orangerful
This book gets 5 stars for just being genius. Not only is the story hilarious, it's a very clever idea! And this book could inspire many kids to scribble in their old picture books, which both horrifies me (the librarian side) and intrigues me (the art side).

Before you give this book to your kid, hit up the flea market or used book sale at the library and buy a bunch of old picture books that have no sentimental value for you and include them in the present.
Pamela ☼stop staring at the sun☼ Tee
Adorable book.

I read Battle Bunny myself and then handed it off to my tween boy. His reaction was to read it and then re-read it right away. We then sat down together to look at the art and see if we had missed any of the jokes. (And they're there, hiding in various places.)

But let me back up. The idea behind the book is that a boy receives a book from his Gran-Gran on his birthday. She saw it at a garage sale and thought of him. And the only problem is that The Birthday Bunny book is really for
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Kate
This is one of my favourite kids books ever and makes me want to do a book hacking program with some kids. I don't even know how I'd read this out loud but I want everyone to read it. Recommended to everyone who thinks that BUNNY BIRTHDAYS ARE BORING and could do with some DESTRUCTION

Also I love that on every page all the trees have their tops chopped off with a hand saw.

DIE TREES
Monica
So funny and so clever! I've already recommended it to several others--as in, placed it in their hand or on their desk with a friendly "READ ME" note. LOL! I want a copy of my own.
Firestone
A young boy is given a sweet little bunny picture book by his GranGran for his birthday. He proceeds to add his own art, change the story, and make it just the sort of book a boy would want to read.

It's ridiculously clever, and both of my boys loved it. I did, too.
Teresa
Others have written excellent reviews on this (see the wonderfully detailed one from Betsy) so I won't bother, but I just want to say that this book is wickedly brilliant.
Meganators
So creative! Love it.
Susan
It's a good concept. It's a spoof on sweet children's books. But it's hostile and it lacks meaning. It's too long. It's self-conscious. I do like the fact that the little boy becomes the hero at the end. That was a surprise and I thought it was clever and would be very satisfying to children. And I like seeing the book all marked up. That IS freedom. But I think it feels like it's an adult writing what he thinks children will like, and thus trying to be cool. It has that "Please like me. I'm coo ...more
Keegan
Jon Scieszka just writes such funny books! One of my kids picked this up off the library shelf and our librarian saw him and exclaimed how fun it is. Patrick and I both read it to the kids separately. And we both read it twice -- first read it as *Birthday Bunny* and then Alex's revisions in *Battle Bunny.* I like it for how creative and silly it is. Plus, stylistically, I'm impressed at how inane Scieszka manages to make *Birthday Bunny* so that it's hard to begrudge Alex vandalizing it. I have ...more
Margaux
Apr 05, 2014 Margaux rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kindergartners, lap-sit, easy-readers
Anyone familiar with the Little Golden Books will be familiar with the idyllic, soft illustrations that are associated with them. This book takes an irreverent stand against those books. The author has written one sweet version of the story and then designed the book to look like it has been defaced by a child with a regular pencil. Illustrations are made to look like the protagonist is going into battle rather than having a lovely day in the forest and the narrative has been crossed out and fil ...more
Jesse
This book is so funny! I love everything about it; it's going to be super popular with kids. The "original" story of Birthday Bunny is cute, but nothing to write home about. But Battle Bunny is so very inventive! Even though I usually abhor writing in books, this one does it so well that I must applaud Matthew Myers. This one is awesome. :)
Wendy
So, so funny and clever. Laurie, I was thinking of giving this to Iris for her birthday but since I decided on something else in the end, now you guys should get it from the library if you haven't already. You will all love it.

I think format stuff will probably keep this off both Newbery and Caldecott lists, and probably Geisel too, but it deserves a wide readership.
Rhonda
No wonder this book won 7 awards! I have never read a story quite like this one. I decided to read the book a couple of times: once as it was originally intended and another with the creative, additional story. If you look deep into the story line, you’ll notice that the first story was about a bunny who felt unloved on his birthday. He met up with all of his friends and they all seemed to have forgotten the Bunny’s “special day”, but at the end he gets a nice surprise. But then, going back and ...more
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The new mash-up? 1 10 Oct 26, 2013 11:25PM  
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Jon Scieszka is a writer and teacher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two children. Occasionally he has been known to howl at the full moon. --from the dust jacket of "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs"

Jon Scieszka is also the author of the best-selling ALA Notable Book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, as well as Knights of the Kitchen Table, and The Not-So-Jolly Roger
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More about Jon Scieszka...
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales Math Curse The Frog Prince, Continued Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

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