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The Backup Bunny
Author: Abigail Rayner
Illustrator: Greg Stones
Published March 6th, 2018 by NorthSouth Books

Summary: Everybody needs a backup plan, especially when you lose your favorite toy.

When Max loses his favorite toy—Bunny—his clever mom brings out the “backup bunny”—Fluffy—to save the day. Fluffy is thrilled to have the chance to play with Max, but is soon rejected by the observant child who notices that his ears are too new and perky. Can Fluffy find a way into his favorite boy’s heart?

The Backup Bunny will keep you laughing and inspire you to make room for another favorite story.

ReviewThis book truly made me laugh out loud because it made me think of so many stories! First, as a kid, I had LeeLee and Bean Baby who my mom both tried to get duplicates (Blue LeeLee and Talking Bean Baby) yet they never were equal to the originals. Then, as a sister, my sister had Banky and Huggy Bear who both had backups and were not replaceable. Finally, as a mom, Trent has a baby named Gus who, when I saw that Target was no longer going to carry them, I purchased 2 backup Guses, and when the original got super dirty, I decided it was time to try a backup. I said Gus was going to take a bath, and I brought back a new Gus. Trent hugged him but then looked at him in this super quizzical way and said, “Baby Gus has blue eyes?” And I freaked! I assured him that Gus has blue eyes, but then when we went to sleep, I checked the other Gus only to see that the original had brown eyes. That could have gone worse! Blue-eyed Gus is still going strong, but it almost backfired.

But back to the book. As you can tell from my reminiscing, this book is going to connect with everyone on so many different levels. The adult reader will remember their childhood and be nostalgic, the parent will think of their child and be filled with love, and the child reader will think of the toy that they love so much. And all of these feelings are accompanied by a fun-filled story about Fluffy trying so hard to be Bunny when really he just needs to be Fluffy to be loved.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: The Backup Bunny will have a wonderful place in early ed classrooms talking about their important lovies. Having students write about their lovie’s personality would be a perfect early ed creative writing prompt. Fluffy has such a distinct voice, and The Backup Bunny would be a wonderful way to start that conversation about voice and characterization with students both in reading and writing.

Discussion Questions: 

  • How are Fluffy and Bunny different?
  • How did the author give Fluffy a personality that was distinct?
  • Do you have a lovie that is special to you? Tell us about them.
  • In what ways did Fluffy try to be like Bunny? Did it work?
  • What type of socks does Fluffy live with? What does this tell you about that drawer?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Don’t Forget Dexter by Lindsay Ward, Toy StoryCaring for Your Lion by Tammi Sauer

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