Emily Brown and her stuffed rabbit Stanley are in the midst of a series of adventures when she receives some unexpected visitors: first the Queen's footman, then the army, then the navy. And they all have one (courteously worded) demand: that Emily Brown hand over that Bunnywunny, which the Queen has decided is the finest toy she has ever seen. Emily Brown politely declines. Then not so politely declines. Despite offers of a gold bear, talking dolls, rocking chairs, and more, Emily Brown refuses to hand over her stuffed friend (his name is not Bunnywunny!), even if the Queen is the poshest person in the kingdom.
But the Queen must have that rabbit...and so Emily Brown must take matters into her own hands.
This ode to the power of toys and imagination is a pleasure to read to children, but the illustrations are probably the real star here. Emily's and Stanley's color-saturated adventures captivate young readers, and the second to last spread actually drew gasps of wonder from one group of first graders when I read it to them.
Children will reach for their own toys when Emily takes pity on the silly Queen and tells her how to have a stuffed friend as nice as Stanley.