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The Library's Early Literacy Program

The Library's Early Literacy Program


Meet the 2020 Building Block Books: Fear the Bunny

By Ashley at the Midtown Carnegie Branch

If you’re looking for some fresh and fun picture books to share with your child, look no further than the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Awards (Building Blocks). This year’s list of nominees is a great place to start. You can also visit the Library’s Building Block Award webpage to find complete lists of past winners and nominees. Read at least five of this year’s nominees and then vote for your favorite here no later than January 15, 2021.

Fear the Bunny by Richard Morris and Priscilla Burris is a fun story about a boasting tiger, unexpected fears, looking out for one another and making new friends. When a tiger hears a group of forest animals reciting, “Bunnies, bunnies, burning bright,” he stops to correct them. Bunnies?! No, no, it’s tigers! Fear the Bunny takes William Blake’s poem, “The Tyger,” and changes the fearsome subject from the biggest of big cats to a cute and fuzzy bunny. The forest animals are clearly not afraid of the tiger - despite his display of claws and sharp teeth - and they plead with the tiger to hide from bunnies while he continues to mock them. How could they be afraid of bunnies? 

Fear the Bunny takes a kid-sized bite out of a monumental English poet that lived over 200 years ago. The original poem was written in 1794 and is featured at the back of the book. Listen to someone read it out loud, or try it yourself. It might not make sense at first, but you can hear words that use the same letters or have a rhyming sound. Listen for the rhythm of the words; “Tyger Tyger burning bright,” almost sounds like the beginning of a nursery rhyme, doesn’t it? William Blake was also an artist and he created an illustrated version of, “The Tyger.” What would your drawing of the poem look like?

Voting for the Missouri Building Blocks is almost over! Check out all the nominees and vote before January 15, 2021!

 Image of Duck! book Duck!

Image of Everybody Says Meow book Everybody Says Meow

Image of I Can Only Draw Worms book I Can Only Draw Worms

 Go to details pagePokko and the Drum

 Go to details pageOctopants

Image of Dandy book Dandy

Image of Shake the Tree! book Shake the Tree!

Image of Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas book Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas

Go to details pageWhat Does an Anteater Eat?

The Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award is sponsored by the Missouri Library Association and administered by the Youth Services Community of Interest. To learn more about the award, please visit the Missouri Library Association Building Block Award page.  

Questions or want more ideas? Email