Age Range: 3 to 7
We would like to introduce Buster Bunny and two stories that we are currently enjoying – Bunny Loves to Read and Bunny Loves to Write. The stories introduce Buster, his sister Bella and their friends and feature Buster’s love of books. They are wonderful stories to include in the literacy curriculum as they promote enjoyment of reading and writing – the lack of enthusiasm that some of the characters have at the beginning of each story is replaced by interest and engagement as they realise that reading and writing is fun.
In both stories a variety of layouts are used for the bold, busy double spreads and small photos are incorporated into the illustrations. The easy to read text includes dialogue, speech bubbles and (in Bunny Loves to Write) a variety of fonts.
Bunny Loves to Read – The Story: Buster’s friends ask him to go outside and play with them but he wants to finish reading his book. When it starts to rain Buster finds books that will interest each of his friends and they become so engrossed that they want to finish their books before they go outside. Once in the garden, their games reflect the themes of the books they have been reading and they ask Buster if they can borrow more.
Buster is a bookworm and this is reflected in the lovely cover illustration which shows him hugging a book. He does a great job of choosing books that are relevant to his friends’ interests and the themes of the books are universal, they include pirates and treasure and a book about a frog prince for his friend Francine (a frog). It’s great that the friends extend their enjoyment and experience of the books into their outside games and want to borrow more books (even Sam the Squirrel who to my daughter’s amusement likes to nibble books at the beginning of the story). Bunny Loves to Read gives young readers the message that books and reading are fun.
Bunny Loves to Write – The Story: Buster’s teacher wants everybody in his class to write a story. Buster doesn’t have any ideas about what to write so he takes his notebook out so he can jot down ideas as they come to him. He meets several of his friends and his walk to the park gives him ideas for events that he can add to his story. Buster’s friends also make suggestions and when he gets to the park he starts to write. He reads the first part out loud and then his friends add their ideas to the story and help him to write it.
Bunny Loves to Write is a fantastic book to use to introduce story writing in a literacy lesson. Buster’s notetaking to gain ideas for story writing is not just relevant to children but to any writer. It is on a walk to the park and through helping his friends that Buster finds his ideas, Francine’s picnic basket feels like a treasure chest and Max shouting ‘Boo’ gives Buster the idea of adding a scary element to his story. The story itself is handwritten in Buster’s notebook with accompanying stick illustrations and I love the way that different handwriting (including mistakes crossed out) is used for each character’s contribution to the story. It is a great story to show children how the writing process works and I love the enthusiasm that Buster and his friends show for the process. My daughter loves writing stories and now she wants a writing notebook just like Buster!