Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
We love this book. The characters are illustrated while the background is black and white photography. Really cool.
The story is great, too. A little toddler named Trixie goes on an errand with her daddy. They walk to the laundromat and while there, she accidentally leaves her beloved lovey, "knuffle bunny" in the washing machine. Daddy and daughter walk back home, and about halfway there, Trixie realizes that she has left her friend behind. She tries to tell her daddy, but the only sounds that come out are "aggle flaggle klabble" and so on. She makes a big fuss, trying to tell him, but he doesn't understand and ends up carrying her home under his arm. As soon as mommy opens the door, she immediately asks, "Where is Knuffle Bunny?" At which point, daddy realizes what trixie has been trying to tell him and they all three run back to the laundromat in search of the precious bunny.
They end up finding knuffle bunny (phew!) and as daddy pulls him out of the wash, trixie holds her arms and and says, "KNUFFLE BUNNY!" And those are the first words she ever says. So cute.
Juliet has a much loved lovey pal----that we guarded more stringently than the hope diamond when she was younger--what would we do if we lost puppy? Of course, the one toy she chose to attach herself to is the one that was immediately discontinued after we bought it. We have searched high and low for backups, but have never found one. So, we can definitely relate to the fear of losing knuffle bunny. And of course, those first words a child speaks, so precious. Juliet always gets a huge grin on her face when trixie says, "knuffle bunny!" She looks at me and says, "and those were the first words she ever said." It's like she's the proud parent.
Go get this one. It's a winner.