1.31.2014

PPBF: It's Not Easy Being A Bunny

Happy Friday and congratulations to Lisa, who has a copy of Maria Dismondy's Spoonful of Sweetness coming her way.

And welcome back to PPBF. 
Today I've chosen a classic from my children's childhood.


Title: It's Not Easy Being A Bunny
Author: Marilyn Sadler
Illustrator: Roger Bollen
Publisher: Random House Books For Young Readers
Date: September 12, 1983
Suitable for ages: 3 - 7 years/preK - 2nd grade
Themes: acceptance, knowing yourself, empathy
Brief Synopsis: P. J. Funnybunny is sick so many things, like cooked carrots, putting up with so many siblings, and having long ears. In fact, he doesn't want to be a bunny anymore. So he packs himself up and heads out to trade places with a host of furry friends.
Opening pages:  P. J. Funnybunny was very sad. He did not like being a bunny.

Resources:  Click {here} to visit the author's site and find out more about the Funnybunny series.
Read a review at BreeniBooks {here}.
Mrs. Schmelzer's Bunny Business post {here}.
Using Puppets to tell an adaptation of the story on You Tube:




Why I like this book:  This book has such great memories for me because we read it over and over and over again when our children were in their formative years. Young children especially love its repetition. Its theme has to do with being okay with, accepting, and yes, even celebrating who you are. P. J. runs away from being a bunny but ends up finding that the grass isn't always greener, 
that sometimes it's just grass.

Ask students how, if at all, the expression 
Home Sweet Home
connects with this story.

For an empathy-elevation piece, find out what animal a student might be willing to trade places with and why. Then ask them to write an "It's not easy being a ___ " about that animal. Ask them what they think P. J. might need and how he might feel as he goes to live with each of these different animals. 
Weave the story into a study of each animal's habitat.
Older learners can make a list of pros and cons of being the age they are, being in the grade they're in, being the gender they are, or being in the family they're in.

I'm taking it into a preK class this morning and I can't wait!

Check out the other two books in this series that our children adored: 
The Very Bad Bunny and P. J., The Spoiled Bunny.

Then head over to Susanna's blog to read her review of Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas and see what other books have been recommended today.



17 comments:

  1. I can't believe I missed this book for my daughter when she was growing up! What a wonderful story about celebrating who you are and having empathy for others. You have such great suggestions about using the book with kids. Hope you had fun sharing with your students today. Great cover.

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    1. The little bunnies LOVED PJ's story ... and ... you guessed it ... we danced the Bunny Hop together when it was all over! Thanks for stopping by, Pat.

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  2. This was one of my kids' favorites, too. Fun to read to them, too!

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    1. Yes, Wendy ... SO much fun to read. Those preKs were trying to guess what the next animal would be ... good times!

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  3. I believe we have this one on the shelf with some books folks donated. Hope your class enjoyed it!

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    1. PJ Funnybunny is just adorable, so yes, they enjoyed it a LOT! I'd planned to grab a rabbit puppet but we brought the animals to life with gestures and noises instead.

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  4. This is great... I'm always happy to find a book that I missed, like a treasure!

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    1. Thank you, Beverly, for stopping by. This one IS a real gem!

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  5. Don't know this one either - thanks for the pick!

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    1. Oh, Julie, you are in for a treat ... don't miss The Bad Bunny, either ... just simple but oh, so engaging.

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  6. I don't know this book either! I love bunny books! And you always have such good ideas to go along with. Thanks!

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    1. Rhythm, you're going to LOVE PJ Funnybunny. I hope you can find a copy cause I know you'll find it's a tail-wagger! Thank you for your kind affirmations about my enrichment ideas.

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  7. P.J. Funnybunny....just the name makes me want to read this book! I'm sure my grandson will LOVE it. I'm reserving it this evening...hopefully the library has a copy. The message is such an important one, Barbara...all of us have probably felt it was not easy being ourselves, at one time or another.:)

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    1. I'm doubting your library will have it ... not sure why ... but I'll remain hopeful for you. I never saw it as a character-development book until this week, when I dusted it off and got this review ready, but it's really rich in its simplicity yet strength.

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  8. Awwwww, I feel bad for P.J. Funnybunny. I don't know this book, which is surprising. My mom has one of the biggest children's bookshelves I've ever seen, and I don't remember reading this one as a child. Now to find a copy....

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    1. Kirsten - I actually found it before our children were born, when I was babysitting for a young girl named Samantha. I remember being amazed that she had it memorized and I couldn't wait to have my own kids and read it with them. I think you (and your mom!) will love it.

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  9. This looks like a cute book with a great message! I think we've all wanted to be someone or something we're not at some point, so I'm sure it's a book that kids and parents alike can relate to! Thanks so much for sharing, Barbara!

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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