Thursday, April 21, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book One hundred and eleven

Easter is only a few days away, and for today's picture book I have an Easter tale that is very special. The story will resonate with people who celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, and it will also appeal to those who celebrate the coming of spring with its fresh green grass, its fruit tree blossoms, and its baby animals.

Dori Chaconas
Illustrated by Margie Moore
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Albert Whitman, 2008, 978-0-8075-4750-2
   One day Bunny notices that there is something new in the air outside his burrow. The air smells “like sunshine, and warm breezes and clear flowing water.” He asks Beaver what the smell is, and Beaver explains that Bunny is smelling Easter. Bunny has no idea what Easter is, so Beaver tells the little rabbit that Easter is “a basket.”  Beaver offers to make Bunny a basket if the rabbit will help him gather branches so that he can make his lodge bigger. Bunny is happy to help Beaver, and once the job is done, Beaver makes Bunny a basket of reeds.
   Bunny shows his basket to Woodchuck, explaining that the basket is Easter. Woodchuck then tells Bunny that the basket isn’t Easter as it is. Once the basket is lined with grass, the basket will be Easter. If Bunny will help him dig a tunnel, Woodchuck will cut some grass for the basket. Bunny helps Woodchuck, and soon the basket has fresh new grass inside it. Bunny is sure that he now has Easter, but unfortunately he soon finds out that he doesn’t. Will he ever find out what Easter is?
   In this charming picture book, Dori Chaconas shows children that Easter is not a thing that you can hold. Instead, it is an experience; it is spring, and new life. With a gentle tale of discovery and delightful watercolor illustrations throughout, this is a seasonal picture book that readers of all ages will enjoy.

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