I popped Easter books in the mail this week. My quick-as-a-bunny sending might seem premature, but I was excited to send Catie books with characters she loves and Zach will soon grow into loving them. Besides, what’s wrong with getting a jump on celebrating a holiday known for activities like egg-dying and chocolate-eating?
For young ones there are two young board books that will fit perfectly as perfectly in Easter baskets as they did in my mailing envelope. Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Easter Egg (Viking, ages 1-21/2) has 14 sturdy board book pages of simple rhyming as Llama Llama and his friends introduce the fun of Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, egg dyeing, Easter egg hunts and surprises.
And my favorite bald-headed baby is back in Leslie Patricelli’s board book Hop! Hop! (Candlewick, ages 1-3). The baby appears on the cover, wearing a fluffy tail affixed to his diapers and a super wide grin. “The Easter bunny is coming,” he announces with another face-splitting smile. Soon the preparation begins. Three pages of egg-dying show color-mixing, but the most fun comes from seeing the enthusiastic baby covered in more and more rainbow hues. Then the busy baby is on to the next activity, crafting bunny ears and tails for himself, his dog and kitty (though kitty seeming less than pleased by these appendages and the bunny-bouncing they inspire). Baby’s moods are bright up until the Easter egg hunt when he can’t find any colored eggs (though illustrations show them everywhere). But by the book ends as his sunny side shows up again.
Catie’s a bit young for the third familiar character appearance this Easter. Michael Kaplan’s popular heroine reappears in Betty Bunny Loves Easter (Dial, ages 4-6) and so do Stephan Jorisch’s playful illustrations. The chocolate-loving Betty once again reveals her quirky perspective as she decides she’ll grow up to be the Easter Bunny. Her parents and siblings’ characteristic response add humor to the story as they have in others in this series.