by Britta Teckentrup
Chronicle Books* 2/25/2014
Age 4 – 8 56 pages
“What is the Bunny Family doing today? Join the bunny family for a busy day in their hometown, on a fun-filled farm adventure, and at the port for an exciting outing! From the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep, there is so much to see and do. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for that pesky Benny Badger—he is always up to no good!”
“IN THE TOWN . . . Join the Bunny family for a busy day in their hometown, surrounded by friends and neighbors!”
The Bunny family—Baxter, Bethany, Mom, Dad (doctor) and Grandma Bunny—are spending the day in their hometown. There is so much to see, many other bunnies to visit, and others to greet, “Hi!” Everyone rises for the new day, dressing, eating, and opening his or her shiny, wide eyes. Outside the street is very busy. Harold Hippo is walking his pooch, Gary Gator is jogging, and—Oh, No!—Barbara Bear slips on a banana peel. 9 AM and school is ready to begin. Bethany enters kindergarten after her dad walked her to school. Baxter is on the playground with his friend Vincent, a tiger. At home, mom is feeding the two cats and grandma is knitting. Such a busy start to the day.
At 12 noon, it starts to rain. Benny Badger is leaving the bakery. What is he up to now? Grandma is on her way home with two sacks of groceries. Bethany is in a line with her classmates and Baxter is still in class. Uh, oh, a cat is on the table. Where is mom to scold the cat? 3 PM is snack time. Grandma Bunny is bringing Bethany a drink—the cat is on the floor. Baxter is learning math with his teacher, Mrs. Katz. Barbara Bear is walking down the street, aided by a crutch for her broken and casted leg. Benny Badger is a pickpocket! He is stealing Bernhard Builder’s wallet right out of his back pocket. 9 PM is time for everyone to sleep. The day was interesting. The fire department put out a fire in the apartment above the Bunny’s apartment four hours ago. Benny Badger broke into someone’s car and into the bakery. Now, at nine at night, Bethany and Baxter are asleep. The town gets quiet and the police arrest Benny Badger. Tomorrow the Bunny Family will go to the farm and the day after to the port. But wtch out! Benny Badger will be there too.
Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, on the Farm, and at the Port will keep kids busy. Originally three books, each book divided by hour segments. 6 AM starts the day, which continues at spaced intervals until bedtime and the end of the day at 9 PM. The spreads are busy with loads of activity by many anthropomorphic creatures. Before each story begins, a page of the story’s characters, illustrated and named, make finding them much easier. I found myself referring to this page many times. At the top of each spread are questions for the reader.
“Who is awake?” / “What is Mrs. Bunny doing?” / “Has Squawk made a friend?”
Benny Badger is the bad badger in every story and it is always a good idea to keep track of what this scoundrel is doing. Busy Bunny Days: In the Town represents a normal day for the Bunny Family. Bethany and Baxter go to school, Dr. Bunny goes to work, and Mrs. Bunny and Grandma Bunny do all sorts of things. The creatures around the town are actually more fascinating than the Bunny Family.
Busy Bunny Days: On the Farm, the Bunny Family is visiting friends, the Gardiners, who own a farm. Interestingly, in addition to the anthropomorphic animals, there are regular animals: cows, chickens, horses, pigs, dogs. Once again, Benny Badger is around to create havoc. The farm slower paced looks more like a tourist attraction than a working farm.
Busy Bunny Days: at the Port, is the third book in this three-book compilation, all originally published in Germany in 2011 and 2012. The port is a very busy place, and Benny Badger is there to cause trouble. I think he follows the Bunny Family, just as we are doing. Docked at the port are several ships, including a pirate ship and the Poseidon, still afloat and unloading its cargo containers. Baxter is sporting an eye patch and wielding a dagger. At the Port is the best of the three books.
The illustrations are bright, cheery, and simply fun. Each spread holds more than the eye can comprehend in one look. Kids will have so much to look for and follow throughout the day. There are more to follow from spread to spread than just the Bunny Family. Barbara Bear slips on a banana peel, breaks her leg, and returns on a crutch. Harold Hippo cannot keep a hold of his dog’s leash, the dog runs, and finds its way to the school where Baxter pets the happy mutt. On the farm, Late at night—seven o’clock—everyone dances.
If your child likes to find things in the illustrations, then Busy Bunny Days will keep them busy for a long time. Without an actual text, kids can make up stories for their favorite character. Parents can read the questions at the top of each spread, helping their child with the answers. After that, kids can master Busy Bunny Days on their own, changing the story as they please. Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, on the Farm, and at the Port will entertain your child while growing their imagination as they story each character in their own way, finding and following the Bunny Family and their friends and neighbors—and Benny Badger, too!
Learn more about Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, on the Farm, and at the Port HERE.
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BUSY BUNNY DAYS: IN THE TOWN, ON THE FAR, AT THE PORT. Text and illustrations copyright © 20111, 2012 by Britta Teckentrup. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
*Originally published in Germany in 2011 and 2012 by Veriagshaus Jacoby & Stuart GmbH, Berlin, Germany. *Original titles: Das 24-Stunden-Wimmelbuch: In der Stadt ist was los!, Das 24-Stunden-Wimmelbuch: Auf dem Bauernhof ist!, Das 24-Stunden-Wimmelbuch: Am Hafen ist was los! *Translated by Chronicle Books, 2014.