The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

Weekly Trip to the Library

Review by Elizabeth Kennedy, About.com Guide

Jan Brett is known for her picture book illustrations and her latest book, The Easter Eggis another winner. A little bunny named Hoppi is very excited to finally be old enough to participate in the Easter egg competition. Hoppi is determined to create the winning Easter egg because the winner gets “to help the Easter Rabbit hide the eggs on Easter morning.”

As he wanders through the grass and trees, Hoppi sees bunnies working on spectacular eggs. In both the double-page spreads and the borders that frame them, Jan Brett depicts appealing bunnies in jackets, aprons and other clothing working on their Easter eggs. These include pastel Easter eggs used as planters for wildflowers, a carved wooden egg, a chocolate egg, colorfully detailed Easter eggs, an Easter egg with a lifelike portrait of the Easter Rabbit on it, a mechanical egg and more. Each bunny that Hoppi visits with treats him kindly and shares egg-making supplies with him.

Overwhelmed by all he has seen, Hoppi hops into the woods to think. Realizing that creating the best egg is harder than he thought, Hoppi decides, “I guess I don’t have to win. I just want to make an egg I am proud of.” Even that goal slips his mind when he hears Mother Robin squawking and realizes one of her eggs has fallen out of the nest.

Hoppi comes to the rescue, sitting on the egg to keep it warm while Mother Robin cares for the two eggs still in her nest. While caring for the egg day and night, Hoppi endures rain and cold and scary sounds. Finally, the egg hatches.

Meanwhile, the other rabbits complete their eggs and on Easter morning, are there to greet the Easter Rabbit who arrives in a beautifully decorated wagon. The scene of the flowered and Easter egg draped wagon pulled by a team of hens is illustrated on a triple-page spread, with an extra page unfolding to give a panoramic view of the wagon, the Easter Rabbit, and the bunnies there to greet him.

Despite the fact that Hoppi has not decorated an egg, the Easter Rabbit is aware of what he has done. Virtue is rewarded when the Easter Rabbit declares Hoppi the winner, and all of the other rabbits cheer for him. It’s nice to find a book about a group competing for a prize who help one another rather than being so eager to win that they treat one another badly in their quest to win. I recommend The Easter Egg for children ages three to six , but older children and adults will also appreciate the engaging illustrations.

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