Martha Bunny Loves School

Martha Bunny Loves School

This year my three-year-old and six-year-old sons both started school (pre-school and kindergarten, respectively). So the recent arrival of Clara Vulliamy’s Martha Bunny Loves School (Albert Whitman & Company, 2013) was quite timely.

Here is a book trailer from the author’s Website, which gives you a glimpse of the color, font, layout, and movement of the book:

Martha Bunny Loves School is “a happy book all about Martha,” a bunny who is starting her first day of school. She has two bunny brothers (“one huge problem”), but before she gets to them, she shares her favorite color, popsicle flavor, hobbies, and (best of all) her “yellow-and-blue-and-orange-and-pink polka-dot rain boots,” which she wears even to sleep.

Martha’s bunny brothers are going to miss her when she goes. After eating breakfast–her brother Monty will only “eat his breakfast inside his box”–and getting dressed (“I don’t know what to choose”), she has to mollify two sad brothers who don’t know what to do while she’s away. So she founds the “Happy Bunny Club,” complete with badges, a sign, and a secret den.

After trying to fit all of her belongings into her backpack, Martha can’t fit through the door, so ends up packing just her Happy Bunny Club badge that her brothers make for her. At the end of her school day, she happily reunites with her brothers in the secret den.

When I asked my own three-year-old bunny what he thought about this book, he simply replied, “Good!”

“What happened?” I asked.

Martha have too much stuff in her backpack when she go, and she says, “SQUEEEEZE!” through the door. But her favorite stuff came out of the backpack.

Not long after reading Martha Bunny Loves School, my son went off to draw his own Happy Bunny Club badge.

There’s a lot to love about this book. The story is relatable, the plot and conflict and resolution are all compelling, and the characters (especially Martha’s) are well-developed. The illustrations and layout and font are stellar. The colors are vibrant. Here’s a sample page (note the graph paper background and creative use of space and text):

A look inside the book (click to enlarge)
A look inside the book

The book aims at ages 4-7 (grades pre-school through 2nd). My 6-year-old thought he was too old for the book, but I don’t think he is. My three-year-old loved it, and older kids (especially with younger siblings) will appreciate it too.

Martha Bunny Loves School is a standout children’s book, one of the best we’ve read in a while. (And we read a lot around here.) It’s been a pleasure to read through it with our little guy, and I’m sure we’ll continue to return to it in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company for the copy of the book to review. Its product page is here; at Amazon here. The author’s own site is worth checking out, too.

My five-year-old son reviews: Can You Count to a Googol?

can you count to a googol

“Can you count to a googol?”

“I can’t. I think it might take a hundred days to count to a googol. You think so, daddy?”

Thus inquired my 5-year-old son as we sat down to read Can You Count to a Googol? by Robert E. Wells.

As the book worked its way through various numbers leading up to googol, it asked, “What would YOU do with ONE BILLION dollars?” My son said, “Spend it for something that is one billion dollars… but one billion dollars is a lot!”

Here’s his review of the book, in his words:

This book tells you everything about a googol. A googol is a number: a really, really, really, really big number. It is 1 with a hundred zeros after it. And how about we write it to show you what it looks like?


In one picture, 10 monkeys are balancing 100 bananas, and some bananas are balancing each other! And there’s a girl clapping, and a boy raising his hands, and a wagon with a basket in it. The picture is trying to show us how many 100 is.

In another picture, there’s a big thing: there’s 100 eagles carrying two people and two monkeys. And 100 penguins–each have 10 ice creams.

There’s nothing that’s googol, not even all of the people in the whole universe. Stars aren’t googol. Asteroids aren’t googol, too.

This book might be good for 5-year-olds and up. So a little bit the best for 4-year-olds. And a LOT best for 5-year-olds.

[Dad’s editorial note: When the page appeared on which a monkey and some children were writing out a googol on a board, my 5-year-old stopped and counted every 0–there really were 100.]

Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company for the copy of the book to review. Its product page is here; at Amazon here.