The House of 12 Bunnies By Caroline Stills and Sarcia Stills-Blott




The House of 12 Bunnies is an extremely regular bedtime request in our house. It’s a simple, playful book with plenty of opportunity for counting and observation. My son absolutely loves it!


So, there’s not a great deal to this story; basically, there are 12 bunnies living in a house and the eldest, Sophia, is searching for something she has lost. On each page, Sophia is rummaging through a different room and finding lots of their ‘bunny items’, but not the thing she needs – at least not until the last page.


Why I love it:

I love this book, because my son loves this book, and anything that gets kids wanting to read, is pretty awesome!

The appeal of The House of 12 Bunnies is absolutely in the counting (on each page the items Sophia finds, add up to 12) and in the illustrations (done by Judith Rossell). My son adores finding in each picture, the last item listed. For example: ‘In the kitchen there are 5 cups, 4 plates, 2 bowls and a mug without a handle.’ It has become a game for my son to locate the mug without the handle before I’ve even properly turned the page.

The counting provides a terrific opportunity to show the children how different combinations of numbers can add up to the same amount. We sometimes use the 100s Chart on the wall, to keep track of the numbers on each page, always finishing at 12.

Themes to discuss with your child:

There aren’t a great deal of themes to discuss in this book, although you could, most definitely talk about family and the roles of different family members. You could discuss routines and the need for comfort, but, as discussed above, the main focus of this book is the counting and the observational opportunities. There is simply so much to look at on each page, this is a great book with which to take your time.

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Do you think this is about a happy house or a sad house? What makes you think this?
  • How many bunnies can you count on the cover?
  • How many windows can you count on the picture of the house?
  • Look at the cover for 10 seconds, now give the book to me; can you tell me 3 different activities the bunnies were doing?
  • What can you notice about the guitar?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • So, what was Sophia looking for the whole time?
  • Do you think the bunnies are a happy family? What makes you think this?
  • Who do you think is the oldest bunny in the family? What makes you think this?
  • Have a look back over the pages, which is your favourite? Why?
  • Were you able to find the last item listed on each page? Let’s check.
  • What can you notice about the numbers of items on each page? How many things does Sophia find?
  • How do you think the bunny family ends each day?
  • How do you like to end each day?

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