Wolfie the Bunny

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Wolfie the Bunny Book Poster Image
A fresh and funny take on new baby in the house.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Basic information about babies: They eat, they sleep, they grow.

Positive Messages

Older siblings can protect younger. You can learn to love new babies, even if you're wary of them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dot's in tune with her feelings and communicates them clearly. She also evolves into a strong older sister who faces down a big, scary bear to protect her younger brother.

Violence & Scariness

The threat of violence is implicit in the arrival of the wolf. When he's sleeping sweetly, his shadow reveals a more dangerous persona.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wolfie the Bunny is a completely fresh take on the arrival of a new sibling. If kids see the new baby as a wolf in baby's clothing, they'll relate to little Dot, a bunny whose family comes home to their city stoop to discover a basket with a baby wolf. "HE'S GOING TO EAT US ALL UP!" she warns. But when Wolfie is threatened by a bear, Dot discovers her fierce inner older sister. There's some implied violence when Dot worries about Wolfie, including a picture of his menacing shadow while he's sleeping sweetly.

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What's the story?

Little Dot's world is upset when her family comes home to find a baby wolf on their doorstep. Her parents are inexplicably smitten: "He's adorable!" "He's ours!" They not only take him in, they also document his every mundane accomplishment (eating!) with a panoply of cameras. When Wolfie grows to full wolf-size, they dress him in a pink zip-up bunny suit. Dot, however, isn't fooled. She tries to warn her parents: "HE'S GOING TO EAT US ALL UP!" But they're deaf to her cries and blind to Wolfie's danger. Wolfie tags after Dot like an annoying younger brother, even accompanying her to the toilet. When she's forced to bring him along to the food co-op, a big, scary bear mistakes him for a succulent pink bunny. "DINNER!" he roars. Dot saves her brother by threatening to eat the bear, and together they walk home hand in hand.

Is it any good?

No dreary "love your sibling" message here; instead, kids will find it hilarious when Mama and Papa are completely blind to the danger posed by the arrival of little Wolfie. When Wolfie wolfs down his meals and drools all over Dot, Papa says, "He's a good eater!" The bunny family has a Portlandia-via-Brooklyn feel; Papa wears a hipster hat, and they shop at the crunchy Carrot Patch food co-op.

The detail in the art is as fun to read as the deadpan text: On high alert, Dot wears a headlamp to bed; the scary bear in the food co-op carries a basket full of honey in bear bottles. Text and art in WOLFIE THE BUNNY combine to make it a great family read.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the arrival of a new sibling. Before the baby came, what did you worry about? Now that the baby is here, how is the family different?

  • What do you like about the new baby? What don't you like?

  • Can you have a mix of feelings about someone? Can you love the baby and be wary at the same time?

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