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Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny

(Bunjitsu Bunny #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  784 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
Introducing Isabel, aka Bunjitsu Bunny! She is the BEST bunjitsu artist in her school, and she can throw farther, kick higher, and hit harder than anyone else! But she never hurts another creature . . . unless she has to.
This series of brief stories about Isabel's adventures are a beguiling combination of child-friendly scenarios and Eastern wisdom perfect for the younges
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published October 14th 2014)
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Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Jū" means gentle, soft, or flexible. "Jutsu" can mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with one's own force.

The clever little book packs a punch when it comes it eastern philosophies. Each chapter is a small morality play that concludes with some peaceful way to resolve the issues. Each story can stand alone and need not be read in order. At the end of the book there is a list of Bunjitsu Code that we can all live b
There were so many things I loved about this book! First and foremost is the fact that Bunjitsu Bunny is actually a gal named Isabel - and she doesn't have any of the typical female markers like eyelashes or bows or pouty lips. She's just a kick-ass bunny, and the fact that she's a girl is incidental. The stories also encourage thinking outside the box to problem-solve, and emphasize that engaging in physical struggle should only be used as a last resort. Finally, I loved the drawings - they wer ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a super cute story about a kick-butt girl bunny who has learned to harness the power of zen.
Barb Middleton
Isabel is the best bunjitsu bunny in her school. She may appear like a cute little thing, but don't be fooled. She'll high kick and outsmart anyone. Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny is an early reader with a unique mix of 12 fable-like tales and martial arts. I have never come across anything quite like it. The bunny's skills come from an ancient Japanese martial art called, jujitsu, that teaches self-defense while building individual awareness and self-confidence. It does not rely on strength or weapons ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2nd, 3rd, early-reader
What an odd book. I think it is trying to combine a kick ass heroine and zen philosophy. I will be fascinated to know what kids think. I was slightly underwhelmed, but I'm not an eastern philosophy person.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a cute book which has shown up on my recommendations feed and then I happened to see it on the library shelf. It's kind of like a series of very simple short stories that read a bit like fables and a bit like adventures about a bunny named Isabel. They're all quite different and range from how to overcome obstacles by thinking outside the box to winning a fight by simply choosing not to engage with a boastful bully. She's female, bright, wise, skilled, able to fight, and like Yoda seeks ...more
This is an adorable early chapter book. it's great for 2nd grade or about 7 years. Even though it's about a bunny who does karate type stuff it talks about when it is appropriate. My son was so entertained.
Brenda Lower
Fantastic as a early reader- short chapters that are easy to read, but all interconnected. Great read!
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A fast read with a main character who thinks outside the box to solve problems.
Teresa Scherping Moulton
Isabel can hit, kick, and throw better than anyone in her bunjitsu class, so her friends called her Bunjitsu Bunny. But Isabel knows that bunjitsu is really about solving problems WITHOUT hitting, kicking, or throwing. Isabel works hard and practices every day, and she doesn't forget to use her brain either. These qualities help her defeat a group of pirates, get around a locked door, rescue a lost ball, overcome an angry wave, and more. One thing is for sure - no matter what life throws at Bunj ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wee-lads
Both my children (3.5 girl and 5.5 boy) absolutely LOVED this book. We could have read the whole thing in one sitting, no lie. That's how captivated they were. In fact, the day before we had to return it to the library they begged me to re-read most of it.

As the title implies, it is "Tales of" so on this second reading we were able to just skip through and pick their favorite chapters without missing any plot line. The chapters do work together nicely, but each stand alone as their own excellen
Scottsdale Public Library
What a great book to bridge that gap between easy reader books and chapter books for newer readers! Isabel, aka Bunjitsu Bunny, is the central figure in a collection of short stories strung together in chapters to make one longer book. Some of the stories are loosely based on familiar fables like the Tortoise and the Hare, but are told with a slight twist. Good messages and a good dose of humor permeate each story and make them new and surprising, as well as lending them a slightly philosophical ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny" is told in the style of old martial arts stories, child version. But, this book can be enjoyed by adults and children alike, martial artists and non martial artists. Isabel meets many challenges with her mind and body, being kind and skilled in competition, and wise when it comes to making friends and not enemies. These stories teach life lessons of humility, strength, wisdom, and friendship. I also enjoyed the artwork, and the accurate depiction of martial techniques. ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Awesome collection of short, early-reader-level fables about a little girl bunny who is great at her martial arts discipline, bunjitsu. There is plenty of action - she can punch and kick - but the stories also show her avoiding fights, helping her friends, and respecting her teacher, as per the Bunjitsu Code. Love the calligraphic illustrations, especially the red line to show motion.
The Styling Librarian
Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman – Fantasy – 3rd grade and up – There a deep layer within this book which teaches life lessons. Also, children will find this book appealing, especially reluctant readers.
Amanda Marquart
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
Great book filled with little stories to teach kids not to use force unless they have to. There a lot of clever tricks to get kids thinking about Eastern philosophy.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-readers
Excellent book of bunjitsu wisdom. The perfect gift for my six-year-old granddaughter, who takes karate.
Michele Knott
Loved this transitional chapter book! Readers will enjoy the tales and lessons in each chapter and I love finding a new chapter book for younger readers!
Leanne C
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Love these quick little life lessons! A must read for teachers! I will definitely be using these during the first month of school.
Bunjitsu Bunny demonstrates martial arts wisdom in a way accessible for children. Each short chapter teaches the reader something different. My favorite is "The Challenge." When Bunjitsu Bunny is challenged to a fight by Jackrabbit, so doesn't go. And when her friends suggest that she lost by refusing to fight Jackrabbit, she replies, "No, I did not lose. He did not hit me."

The rules of "Bunjitsu" at the end of the book are also good rules to live even for children who don't practice martial art
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Charming! Conveys thoughtful lessons without being preachy, plus Isobel still gets to kick butt when the situation calls for it. Reminds me a lot of the The Tao of Pooh

Another reviewer pointed out the really refreshing fact that Isobel isn't hyperfeminized. She doesn't have long lashes, lipstick, boobs, weird human hair, flowers in her hair/ears, or any of the other lazy tropes that artists use to signal "look! a girl!".
Kate Foran
These little stories have a classic, zen feel and each one packs a clever Bunjitsu lesson — and they’re funny. It almost reads like “Owl At Home,” but with a wise bunny girl as our heroine.

Other things to love: larger font, short chapters, great illustrations on every page. The lexile level is 520, but given the illustrations, font and chapter length, it’s a good choice for emerging readers who are building stamina (level L/M)
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
My daughter and I enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series. This young bunny is very wise and knows that bunjitsu is not used to harm others, but in turn, can you teach you more than just physical strength. In truth, real strength comes from within and this bunny teaches all she comes in contact with how to be a bunjitsu bunny like her.
Diane Adams
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have known this author for almost 20 years--my daughter enjoyed several of his books when she was small, and I figured I should read this one before buying it for my nephews. It's adorable and full of good lessons, not only for martial arts, but for life as well. Can't wait to check out the next book!
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
The cute illustrations make this short book of tales perfect for early readers. Each tale has a moral.
The tales involving bullying are especially good. Like "Zen Shorts" but on a simpler scale, I think this is a nice change from many of the usual early readers.
Each chapter is a short stand alone story featuring Isabel, otherwise known as Bunjitsu Bunny. There are illustrations on almost every page, and each story features a lesson that's not didactic. I found this series while looking for readalikes for Mercy Watson to the Rescue and The Princess in Black. With several books in the series this fits the bill.
I loved this book! Isabel is a kick ass little bunjitsu-practicing bunny looking for non violent solutions to her everyday dilemmas. The stories are cute and compact, and smack of fables. and the cover art is perfection. 5 stars hands down!
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was hard to get my son to finish this one. I think he did... It has a lot of good lessons in it, but I think it's just a bit over his head right now and not what he's interested in. Will try again in a year or so.
Tara Ethridge
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This would be a perfect read-aloud for grades 1or 2 as it has these little life messages tucked into each chapter. Super engaging pictures in this short chapter book, and I loved it dearly. Can’t wait to share this with some teachers.
Good for early readers, they'll feel like it's a chapter book. Good lessons on discipline, citizenship, and friendship. Only for K high readers, 1st, and low 2nd grade readers. Others will compare it to Frog and Toad, not enough substance.
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John Himmelman is the author and illustrator of more than sixty books for children, including Chickens to the Rescue. He lives in Connecticut with his family.

According John's Facebook page, he has been "making up stories and scribbling pictures since I could hold a crayon in my hand. It became my job in 1981, when my first book, "Talester the Lizard" was published during my last year in college (S

Other books in the series

Bunjitsu Bunny (4 books)
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  • Bunjitsu Bunny Jumps to the Moon (Bunjitsu Bunny #3)
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