I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book – other than I was psyched to see the beautiful illustrations by Carmen Saldana. Also, I was intrigued by the extremely adorable title – can I actually purchase a Bunnybear somewhere?!?
I was not expecting such a cute book with a lesson about acceptance and being true to yourself to be so well done – yay for author Andrea Loney!!
Bunnybear is a bear on the outside and can do everything the other bears do. But inside, he feels like a bunny. The other bears don’t understand why he doesn’t act like a bear, so Bunnybear leaves, only to find….a bunny! He is so excited that he follows the bunny right underground, intothe rabbit warren and “they were tiny and fluffy and bouncy, like Bunnybear’s heart.” But he quickly realizes that as much as he wants to be a bunny, he doesn’t fit in here either, because he is still a bear on the outside. The bunnies make him leave and he curls into a heartbreaking ball because he doesn’t know what to do or where to go.
Enter Grizzlybun. Grizzlybun is….yup, a bunny on the outside who feels like a bear on the inside. And Bunnybear totally gets it. Together, they can be themselves. And more than themselves, because now they are not just bunnies or bears….”they were friends and they were happy.” And everyone lives happily ever after and they bunnies and bears have a party and they meet other animals who are more than themselves – the last page is very cute.
But it’s the first sentence that really kills me: “There once was a bear who was more than a bear.” He’s not just different or missing some essential “bear-ness.” He’s more than the sum of his parts.
As other reviewers have written, it is a great book to use as a conversation starter for kids, which is true. But I think it’s a great book to read for the sake of reading.
A few of my other favorite books with simliar themes: