Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator) Emily Brown’s rabbit, Stanley, is NOT FOR SALE.
Not even to her Most Royal Highness Queen Gloriana the Third.
Not even for all the toys Emily Brown could ever desire.
So when naughty Queen Gloriana steals “Bunnywunny” away, Emily Brown sets out to get him back. Along the way, she shows the queen how to love a special toy of her very own.
We borrowed this book and it was so worth a read. Although it can be enjoyed by younger ones I think this is definitely a picture book best suited to an older pre-schooler, or those in their first year or so at school. There is a fair bit of text for a picture book and some of the ideas and groups of people mentioned are well over the heads of younger readers (or should I say listeners!).
Emily has a much loved rabbit called Stanley, a great starting point for a story as most children have favourite toys of some sort. She and Stanley have lots of exciting adventures and this leads to a bit of a problem. Queen Gloriana the third decides she would like the rabbit for herself. She writes to ask Emily to give her Stanley (or bunnywunny as she prefers to call him) and in exchange she offers Emily a brand new bear. Emily however, is having none of it and stands up to the Queen saying a very firm “no”. The Queen tries to bribe Emily with further offers and sends in increasingly strong forces to back her cause. Finally the SAS come and steal Stanley away. Emily is furious and heads off to the palace to fetch him back.
Emily teaches the Queen that to have a special toy you must love it and play with it until it is truly yours. It’s brilliant. I loved Emily, she is so un-phased by anything, and like many children, when it comes to her toy she will stop at nothing to protect what is hers! But far from being a story about “mine” in the selfish sense (a word we hear a lot in our house at the moment!) it is a story about love, loyalty and the joy of special toys. Emily is not willing to give up Stanley, even for the multitude of things she is offered in return. She demonstrates that some people (or toys) cannot be bought at any price. She is also courageous enough to go to rescue her beloved toy and stand up to the Queen!
There are some great lessons in this story, but it is also a great read, has lots of humour and has charming pictures. Verdict: Fab, I am sorely tempted to go and get this, even though I am trying not to buy more books at the moment… This one might just sneak itself onto the shelf! Reviewed by Helen
Publication Date: October 2007
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Picture books, Early Readers
Challenge: British Book