A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers learn the rules of a real-life game with marshmallows called Chubby Bunny.
Bunny's Grammy tells her, "Being chubby isn't bad, and maybe you can help other people understand that too." Bunny tells her classmates there's nothing wrong with the name Chubby Bunny or with being chubby. "Or with being tall like Rebecca or wearing glasses like Dylan," Bunny says. The implied message is to accept and respect people of all shapes, sizes, and differences.
Positive Role Models
Bunny's mom is loving and supportive, as is her grandmother, who tells Bunny there's nothing wrong with being chubby, and that "chubby" doesn't have to be a hurtful word if you feel good about yourself and your body. You can own the word and thereby take away other people's power to hurt you with it. Bunny's teacher is also kind and supportive. And Bunny is a model of turning a painful moment around and coming to feel positive about her body and experience self-acceptance.
Different body types are represented. Bunny's mom is "tall and round," Bunny is "just plain round," and her grandmother is "short and thin." The diverse cast includes teacher Mr. Treviño, who's Latino, Principal Simmons, who's Black, Bunny's teacher Miss Miller who's White like Bunny's family. A girl student uses a wheelchair, and the students in general are ethnically diverse with different skin tones. On the wall in Bunny's home there are framed photos of loved ones, including a biracial male couple and their baby. Julie Murphy is a self-identified fat-feminist and has said "The inspiration for all of my books will almost always be me wanting to see characters in fat bodies navigating all kinds of narratives."
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Name-calling, using "Chubby Bunny."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chubby Bunny is the first picture book by best-selling author Julie Murphy (Dumplin', Dear Sweet Pea). It tells the story of a girl called Bunny (her real name is Barbara) who's rounder than her peers and suffers name-calling when playing the marshmallow game Chubby Bunny. But her grandmother assures her there's nothing bad about being chubby, and helps her see that if she's fine with being chubby, then someone calling her that can't hurt her. It's a body-positive coming-of-age story for young readers with an appealing strong girl from a loving family at its center.
Is It Any Good?
This relatable story of overcoming an embarrassing name-calling incident has an empowering body-positive message. It's tough seeing a kid get humiliated at school, but it's great seeing her work through it with the help of her supportive mom, grandmother, and teacher. Chubby Bunny shows a girl realizing she's happy with her body, taking away the power of the name-callers to hurt her. It's a triumph of being comfortable with how you look and who you are.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books That Promote a Healthy Body Image
Books with Strong Female Characters
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