Monday, April 06, 2020

Funny Bunnies: Cottontail Tales for Easter

What with sheltering in place and libraries and book stores close, it's not easy to hunt up new books about that Bunny who brings the Easter basket. Here are a few books about all things Easter-ish and some other seasonal stories that are eggs-actly what we need:

It's time for those bouncing bunnies, cheeping chicks, and dandy ducklings to make their annual appearance celebrating the return of spring. Here is a collection of hippity-hoppity stories that remind us that Easter is on its way!

Katherine Tegen's The Story of the Easter Bunny gives a nod to the folkloric roots of the Easter Rabbit, long a symbol of new life.

On a snow-cold day
in a snug little house,
a round old couple
were making Easter eggs...
while their little rabbit watched.

Little rabbit watches the couple blow and paint the eggs, make chocolate candies, and fill baskets for the children of the village. Gradually, as the couple grow older, the little rabbit, now grown big and strong, takes over the job. He becomes so famed in his village that he has to move his operations to a secret egg shop beneath a hollow tree and becomes Easter Rabbit to the world.

A simple sweet story illustrated in soft pastel watercolors by Sally Ann Lambert, this one is just right for young children, who may be inspired to search for the entrance to that secret Easter egg workshop themselves.

Charlotte Zolotow's classic, The Bunny Who Found Easter has charmed generations of small children with its story of a bunny who looks for "other rabbits like himself for company." The wise owl suggests that there are always rabbits at Easter, but can't tell the bunny where Easter is. "It must be some place to the east," he offers.

The bunny searches through hot summer sun and rain storms and winter snows, where he snuggles inside a hollow tree "alone in a world without rabbits." At last spring leads him to a beautiful bunny with bright eyes and long ears just like his, in "a time when everything lovely began once again."

Nancy Tafuri's Caldecott story of a runaway eighth duckling is a bundle of spring fun. One of the eight ducklings steals out of the nest and is seen "hiding" while Mother Duck goes about inquiring of all the pond animals for him. Kids love spotting the independent duckling watching from behind trees, flowers, and clumps of grass while his mom looks for him. This one is just right for a handy little board book, but is available as well in paperback or hardcover editions. Also by Tafuri is her wonderful story which begins with a bunny, I Love You, Little One in which little animals ask for reassurance that their mothers will always love them. Their lyrical answers ("I love you as the wild rye loves you, gently swaying above you, giving you food and cover from harm.") and Tafuri's elegant, fullsome illustrations are as warm as the child's bedtime embrace which ends the story.

What would the Easter holiday be without a Max and Ruby story? Rosemary Wells has one for us in Max's Chocolate Chicken (Max and Ruby). Max has eyes only for the huge chocolate chicken, the prize for the Easter egg hunt, but Ruby sternly hands Max his basket and says in her best big sister voice, "No eggs, no chicken!" While Ruby fills her basket with eggs, Max sneaks the chocolate chicken from its birdbath perch and makes short work of the delicious tail feathers. But the Easter Bunny (who has been visibly spying on the whole business) replaces the chicken with a chocolate goose for both Ruby and Max to share.

For slightly older kids who are weary of bunny and eggs stories, the perfect anti-cute-critter antidote is The Dumb Bunnies' Easter. Sue Denim's and Dav Pilkey's evergreen spoof of all things festive begins as the Dumb Bunny family chooses an Easter tree, spray-paints fried eggs, stuffs a turkey (through the basketball goal), and waits for Santa's minivan pulled by eight cranky pilgrims. This delightfully goofy mish-mash of popular customs will have children rolling in the aisles. Even when the Dumb Bunnies' colored eggs splatter down the chimney, it's an EGGS-tra good time for all.

Labels: ,


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home