Getting the Gig: Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
"WHAT'S WRONG, CAT? YOU LOOK GRUMPY.
THE EASTER BUNNY? WHAT ABOUT HIM?"
This grumpy cat has a gripe. Why should bunnies get all the good gigs? Everybody loves that guy with the powder puff tail and the chocolates. Cat can deliver the goods, too!
Cat thinks he's got a shot at the Easter Bunny thing.
He looks good in a bow-tie and sparkly vest, and he's got a swell Harley to speed up deliveries. No need for all that tiresome hopping!
But ... Easter basket delivery is a hard job--hours and hours of busy work--all night long, actually.
What's that, Cat? You need at least seven naps?
"I WILL BET THE EASTER BUNNY REALLY IS TIRED. HE CAN'T TAKE ANY NAPS.
NOPE, NOT EVEN ONE LITTLE ONE!"
Undesirable workplace conditions! Cat rethinks the whole audition. Maybe it's better if he just drives the Easter Bunny around on his motorcycle. E.B. can nap between stops, and Cat can nap during the deliveries. That could work!
"I GUESS YOU DON'T NEED TO BE BE THE EASTER BUNNY ANY MORE.
HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"
Picture book star Deborah Underwood has another charmer in her latest, Here Comes the Easter Cat (Dial, 2014), a sort of storytelling tour de force in which Cat communicates solely by means of signs, with wry commentary by the off-page narrator.
Illustrator Claudia Rueda shares the honors for this droll spoof on the would-be Easter Bunny story as Cat discovers that there are some conditions of employment he hasn't yet considered. The interplay between the non-verbal Cat and the interlocutor makes for plenty of wry humor, while the body language and facial expressions that Rueda creates in her simple ink and colored-pencil drawings tell the tale with wit and style. In the best vaudeville style Underwood and Reueda leave 'em laughing on the last page as Cat appears costumed and ready for yet another high-profile job audition. (Think cap on head, suit of red?).
School Library Journal gives this alternative Easter Bunny story a starred review, remarking "The combination of witty text, plentiful white space, and brilliant images make this a truly winning book, especially for libraries looking to expand their Easter collections."