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Children's Literature @ NYPL

Booktalking "Battle Bunny" by Jon Sciezka and Mac Barnett


Birthday Bunny sports cheerful Happy Birthday balloons.

Battle Bunny says, "See what happens to bunnies on Dooms Day."

Birthday Bunny started on his path, hopping through the trees.

Battle Bunny started on his Evil Plan, chopping through the trees.

On Birthday Bunny's den hangs an adorable sign stating "Hole Sweet Hole."

One page features Battle Bunny seated on a stump. He is thinking, "Power is good. Power is mine."

Running through the story is the theme of superhero kid Alex, who feels a power that sometimes kids lack, and he is entrusted with saving the world. In fact, he wrote the story and mostly illustrated it. He receives some encouragement, and it is his birthday too. The President of the United States is involved in the story, and some illustrations appear to be reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln. Will Alex defeat Battle Bunny and friends and emerge victorious?

Battle Bunny by Jon Sciezka and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matthew Myers, 2013

I love the carrots on the inside covers of the book. On the back cover, the following information is provided:

Author Jon Sciezka's special day is September 8 (1421).

Author Mac Barnett's special day is August 23 (1910).

Illustrator Matthew Myers' special day is June 26 (5000 BC).

At an NYPL training, Jon Sciezka and Betsy Bird read the book simultaneously, and it was simply hilarious. Matt Myers made left-handed corrections to the story to make the handwriting look messy. However, the authors and illustrator did not want misspellings in the book because kids are smart. Sciezka knows a librarian who gave her kids books from the discard bin to rewrite. Kids can rewrite the Birthday Bunny story in their own unique way at

I am not much for graphic novels or battles, but this book is brilliant. The illustration and bubbles that accompany Battle Bunny have essentially turned the book into a hybrid picture book/graphic novel. I have never seen a book like this on the commercial market with cross-outs that completely alter the original text.


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