Yesterday we found Knuffle Bunny Free while stalking the shelves of our not-so-local independent bookstore. We had no idea that a third book in the series existed, and we were ecstatic to discover it.
We couldn’t wait to read it to our daughter that evening.
In truth, we couldn’t wait to read it ourselves, but we decided to wait until all three of us were together that evening to crack the book open.
I’m so glad we did. Knuffle Bunny Free just as good as the first two, but near the end of the book, something happens in the story that caused my wife’s cheeks to suddenly flush and her eyes to fill with tears. She looked up at me and said, “I think I’m going to cry.”
“What?” I said.
Then she read the next page aloud and I understood.
Willems has crafted the perfect book to end his series, and it is enough to make the most hardened, skeptical, heartless adult shed a few tears. It is a story about the link between the joy of watching your child grow up and the pain that also comes with that process.
Even I may have shed a tear as my wife read aloud, but if I did, it instantly disintegrated on my exceedingly manly cheek.