Fox, Jennifer. Napoleon vs. The Bunnies. Kids Can Press, 2021. 978-1-525-30202-2. 32 p. $17.99. Grades 1-4.
Until now, Waterloo may have been considered Napoleon Bonaparte’s greatest loss. Young history buffs will giggle all the way through this zany description of another defeat suffered by the famous general to “les fluffy buneez.” After signing a treaty with Tsar Alexander in 1807, Napoleon’s chief of staff arranged a celebratory hunt in which hundreds (maybe thousands) of fluffy bunnies were released from cages. Unfortunately for Napoleon, his staff collected farm-raised bunnies that did not run from the hunters. Instead, tame bunnies charged directly towards Napoleon who inexplicably turned and fled! Ink and digitally colored illustrations paired with text bubbles will keep readers giggling. Napoleon’s retreat is framed in a kid-friendly way emphasizing that even the “bravest of the brave” have fears. Backmatter presents a list of Napoleon’s strengths and weaknesses along with historic highlights and failures encouraging the reader to decide. Some French phrases are scattered throughout the text.
THOUGHTS: A hilarious self-aware read-aloud with potential learning extensions into history and French culture. A great addition to any collection looking to expand the historical section for primary learners with a social-emotional learning twist.
Picture Book Jackie Fulton, Mt. Lebanon SD