“Bunky and the Walms” by Aleksandra Tryniecka won five (5) titles in the BREW Readers’ Choice 2021/2022 and BREW Book Excellence 2021 awards. This post is the first in a series of BREW reviews for the award-winning book.
Table of Contents
Bunky Hippo lives with his Uncle and Aunt Walm in the magical country of Walmland. He is a well-behaved boy with occasional sullen bouts and a secret ambition to become a writer. As Christmas nears, Bunky’s cousin, Rodney Williams, visits with his family. Together with their neighbors, they have a fun-filled Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, no one receives their intended gifts. Can Bunky, Rodney, and their newly acquainted friend solve this mystery? Will Bunky find the unknown visitor who keeps frequenting their backyard? ‘Bunky and the Walms,’ a Christmas story penned by Aleksandra Tryniecka, chronicles Bunky’s adventures.
I loved knowing the inhabitants of Walmland. Bunky was my favorite for his loving heart and unique personality. His power of observation, frequent deep musings, and strong opinions filled me with awe. Despite his initial self-doubts, he quickly rose to the challenge of saving Christmas and emerged as a hero. At the same time, I loved Rodney’s perpetually buoyant nature and his adoration for Bunky. Aunt Walm, with her caring and nurturing personality, stood out as one of the strongest characters.
The novel followed a magical plot full of daring adventures. As I embarked upon the unforgettable journey with Bunky and his companions, it transported me to an extraordinary world where wishes could come true. Tryniecka’s thorough descriptions of the Walmland helped me envision the world in vivid detail. The eye-catching illustrations made the events and the characters livelier. I found the style of drawing simple yet elegant.
I admired Tryniecka’s writing style in which she directly addressed the readers. This technique created a warm and inviting atmosphere, making us invested in the story. A subtle hint of mystery kept me going. I greatly appreciated the humor, especially when Bunky would make a wise comment while refusing to admit that he was growing up.
As a true Christmas story, “Bunky and the Walms” offered many valuable lessons to the readers. Through Bunky’s character, Tryniecka showed how even the most decent person could feel moments of extreme frustration. However, it was necessary to maintain a gentle and honest heart throughout the ordeals. The novel showed us how fulfilling it could be to feel happy for others. Rodney showed the ultimate proof of selflessness when he wished for Bunky’s happiness and not his own. Bunky, in his turn, included his friends in his great mission and shared his glory with them. My favorite moment was when Aunt Walm commented that Christmas was not only about gifts. It was a time for love and acceptance, as the kind-hearted characters exemplified. I loved how they visited their distant families, spent time with the lonely neighbor lady, and spread more and more Christmas joy.
These attributes made the novel perfect for its intended audience, children aged 4 to 8 years. They could read the book themselves, or the parents could read it aloud to the younger children. At the same time, I believe even the adults would equally appreciate this wholesome Christmas story.
STR, 20 March 2022
- Title: Bunky and the Walms: The Christmas Story
- Author: Aleksandra Tryniecka
- Genre: Fiction (Children’s Christmas Book)
- Topics: Christmas, the quest of the main character, magic, loyalty, nobility, courage, goodness, dreams, writing, literary world
- Publication Date: 8 October 2021 by Resource Publications
- ISBN-10 : 1666718653
- ISBN-13 : 978-1666718652
- Minimum Audience Age: 3
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 0
- Religious themes: 2
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 0
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 0
- Other adult themes: 0
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 5 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 5 out of 5 stars