CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 17 . . . . April 25, 2003
Princess Bun Bun, Richard Scrimger's second Bun Bun book, finds the same familiar characters setting off on an outing. Winifred and her family are eager to visit Uncle Dave in his new condominium. The kids wonder if Castle Apartments will be like a real castle complete with knights and dragons and a princess. When they reach the apartment, the lobby and security guard fuel Winifred's imagination and fairy tale theme. Baby Brenda, also known as Bun Bun, has recently started walking and, when she notices an elevator with its doors open, she walks right in and Winifred chases after her. The doors instantly close, and the elevator takes the girls up to several different floors. On one, a dog is mistaken for a monster, a cleaning lady with a broom becomes a witch in the girls' eyes and a young lady is thought to be a princess. At the final stop, Winifred is relieved to spot her Uncle Dave who reunites the girls with their mom, dad and brother. Uncle Dave assures Winifred that she and Bun Bun are the only princesses in his castle.
Richard Scrimger's second picture book, Princess Bun Bun, is an original take on a family visit. As in the first book, the children are the main focus with the adults being secondary characters. The personalities of Winifred and her brother Eugene are conveyed through the story's dialogue, and Eugene's comments, in particular, add humour to the story. Bun Bun furthers the plot when her walking skills cause a problem.
castle theme is developed throughout the story with many references
including a moat, guard, dragon and princess. Some parents and young
readers may be surprised to find Winifred and Bun Bun trapped on an
elevator and talking to strangers as the doors open. The verbal exchange
in the case of the "princess" is likely above many young
The character of Uncle Dave is introduced at the end of the story in time to help reunite the girls with their parents and wraps up the original purpose of the visit.
Gillian Johnson has once again provided the artwork for Richard Scrimger's text. Her watercolour paintings convey much expression on the characters' faces and communicate the unfolding drama of the story. The illustrations are fairly small in size, however, and for this reason may not suit large group sharing.
In the end, Scrimger's characters are well-developed, and Winifred's bravery will overcome any unease a young reader may experience at the premise of being lost in a new building. An original story.
Lisa Sykes has worked as an early-years teacher and teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB, and has recently moved with her family to Barrie, ON.
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