Miffy – Dick Bruna

POINTS: 1 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 point
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 1 point from C
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points

Miffy is the first in a long series of books about a bunny. (What is it with children’s books and bunnies, man?) In fact, this is the story of Miffy’s birth.

Miffy’s birth is signalled by an angel who shows up to tell Mrs Bunny that she’s going to have a baby. Now I know there is a long tradition in folklore of women being told of their upcoming child by random animals and creatures, but the angel annoys me. My four year old already knows where babies come from. Can we just stop lying to kids about this please?

That aside, Miffy doesn’t do very well in any of the categories. There is (almost) no dialogue at all, so it can’t pass the Bechdel. It almost does because the cow talks to Mrs Bunny (cooing at her about her baby), but the cow is unnamed, so it fails on a technicality. But the gender roles are pretty traditional (Mr Bunny works in the garden, Mrs Bunny cooks and cleans and shops). And there’s certainly no clear diversity.

C gave it a thumbs up, but honestly I find it mostly pretty saccharine and insipid. I’ve only read one other Miffy book, so we’ll see how we go when I proceed through the series in my “Rest of the Series” posts, but I’m fairly underwhelmed. I can’t really find any reasons to give it any discretionary points at all.

I am sure there are better options.

What do you think? Are you a Miffy fan? Or can you think of better alternatives?

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