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Children's Nonfiction Historical

Napoleon vs. the Bunnies

by (author) J.F. Fox

illustrated by Anna Kwan

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
May 2021
Historical, General, Europe
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3
  • Reading age: 5 to 8


The renowned Napoleon Bonaparte faces an army of a different sort in this witty, unconventional telling of a true event in his life.

Everyone knows the Battle of Waterloo was Napoleon Bonaparte's most crushing defeat, right? Well, some beg to differ. It seems there was another less famous (though perhaps more humiliating) surrender in his past. Let's call it Bunnyloo. In 1807, Napoleon had ordered his chief of staff to round up rabbits for a celebratory hunt, only, he collected domesticated rabbits, not wild ones. So, when the rabbits were released to begin the hunt, they didn't run away. Instead, they ran straight at Napoleon and his hunting party. Now, some might think Napoleon --- king overthrower, army commander, territory conqueror --- would only laugh at an advancing battalion of cute, fluffy bunnies. Think again!

J. F. Fox's funny, quirky picture book story is based on a little-known event in the life of one of history's most notable figures and greatest generals. With an afterword containing further information about him and what's known about the ill-fated rabbit hunt, it makes a highly entertaining introduction to Napoleon. It also could spark lively discussions about notions of power, strength and courage, promoting inquiry-based learning. Adorable bunnies loom large in Anna Kwan's fun brightly colored illustrations that lean heavily toward shades of blue, white and red. Adding to the read-aloud appeal, dialogue bubbles in the illustrations contain easily decipherable French words, along with English text as spoken with a French accent.

About the authors

J. F. Fox is the author of the Head-to-Head History series, featuring quirky showdowns from the past. The first title, Napoleon vs. the Bunnies, was recently referenced in a question on Celebrity Jeopardy! A former editor at Lee & Low Books, she has ghostwritten over seventy books for children and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two sons.

J.F. Fox's profile page

ANNA KWAN is an illustrator from Toronto, Ontario. She studied illustration at OCAD University where she drew comics and funny pictures, but didn't imagine it would lead her to illustrate children's books. She enjoys eating snacks, and is always happy to pet-sit when asked.


Anna Kwan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

... fun and appealing.

CM Magazine

... hilariously explains ... Napoleon's most ignominious defeat.

The Globe and Mail

... an enjoyable storytime.

Kirkus Reviews

Historical drama with a comical twist.


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