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Monday, December 26, 2016

Bunjitsu Bunny's Best Move, by John Himmelman. Square Fish, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2016. $8.50 ages 4 and up

"Max made me think that I should practice my bunjitsu kicks, so I did. Wendy made me wish I could go make music, so I did. And Ben made me think of my grandma, so I went and got a nice big grandma hug." The other three bunnies stood up.
"Where are you going?" asked Isabel. "You are right," said Ben. "Doing something is better than talking about it."

This is Isabel's third book, following Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny and Bunjitsu Bunny Jumps to the Moon. If you were impressed with her simple Zen tales in the first books, you will not be disappointed to share the wise and simple tales shared here.

As we look to share books that exhibit kindness and strength in chaotic times, Isabel stands tall for her unique and heartwarming way of sharing wisdom in the best possible way. She may be the best bunjitsu bunny in her class - she CAN throw farther, kick higher and hit harder than any of her classmates. Those skills are used for honing her craft. She would much rather use her mind and her innate sense of kindness when dealing with the world around her.

In the short stories presented here, she finds out that passing a test may be harder than first thought, but learning that to be true is the best lesson of all. She acknowledges a lesson from her teacher about bullies and how to outwit them. She learns about making goals and accepting that you may not always reach them, but the journey is worth it. She finds out that compromise makes for better friendship. Oh, and that practice makes perfect! She teaches these simple tenets to her readers. It's a win-win situation.

In final pages, we are given step-by-step instructions for folding a Bunny Face; we promise to do our best to follow the Bunjitsu Code; and we read a short question and answer visit with author John Himmelman. Another terrific read!

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