Prather’s Pick: Looking ahead to Easter
Easter is about a month away, but this week’s picture book for kids is really special. If you decide to find “The Easter Egg,” written and illustrated by Jan Brett, you will have time before Easter.
Author/illustrator Jan Brett is well-known for her intricate and detailed pictures. Her work is truly spectacular. At each turn of the page, the reader finds a big (two-page) picture. Besides that, the margins to the top left, and right of the pictures feature cameos with clues as to what else is going on outside of the main pictures. There is a lot for the reader to take in, indeed!
Another Easter book is Hoppi the tale of a young bunny that is the main character. He opens his window one spring morning to take in the sights and sounds. A robin sings. The trees are beginning to turn green, and the sky is blue. Hoppi is excited because this year he is old enough to decorate his first-ever Easter egg,
In Rabbit Town, it’s a tradition for the citizens to decorate Easter eggs. The bunny who decorates the winning egg gets to ride in the carriage with the Easter Rabbit and help him hide the eggs.
So Hoppi goes outside to get some ideas for decorating his egg. He’s dressed in a blue coat with a bell fringe. All of the story’s characters are dressed in beautifully-designed clothes. The forest is green with new ferns and covered with spring flowers, such as violas, hyacinths, and lilies.
All of the bunny “citizens” are hard at it, decorating their own Easter eggs. First, Hoppi finds Flora Bunny, an Angora rabbit. She is busy filling colored eggs with potting soil and flowers. She already has several Easter eggs loaded into a cart. Flora gives Hoppi a basket for his own flowers.
Next, Hoppi finds Buster Birch, a mixed-breed bunny, who is carving an egg from wood. He puts a piece of wood in Hoppi’s basket. Then Aunt Sassyfrass, a Lop rabbit, and some younger bunnies are decorating chocolate eggs with flowers, bows, and squiggles. Aunt Sassyfrass gives Hoppi some squares of chocolate.
Granny Ireney is a Himalayan rabbit. She is making story eggs with incredible designs. She gives Hoppi a special tool to make his own eggs.
Hoppi visits other bunnies, too, including one who is making robot eggs, but he still doesn’t have an idea for his own special Easter egg. So Hoppi sits down under a tree to think.
Meanwhile, since the beginning of the story, cameos in the book showcase bunnies making a whole lot of other eggs—you won’t believe it. Also, at the top of each two-page spread, a pair of robins has been building a nest and Mother Robin has been keeping eggs warm. Then a pair of squirrels comes along and knocks one of the eggs onto the ground. Mother Robin is terribly upset.
Hoppi is sitting close to the egg. He knows just what to do.
A fold-out page reveals the Easter Rabbit’s decorated carriage, pulled by golden Buff Cochin chickens. It’s a sight to behold. Who will get to ride with the Easter Rabbit?
Brett used several breeds of real-life rabbits as models for her story characters. She thanks them, by name, at the beginning of the book.
“The Easter Egg” is published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010. It costs $17.99 in hardcover. Also, look for it in the children’s room at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.
Stories enrich our lives. We tell them, listen to them, read them, repeat them, write them, watch them on TV, enjoy them in theaters. Stories teach us, entertain us, make us laugh, ease our social situations, and cement our friendships.