Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources.
I’m always looking for books with characters who are engaged in self-esteem building. Not only is this the case with my selection today, but the book is also a perfect choice for the upcoming holiday of Easter. I know that parents and teachers will enjoy the simple eco-friendly craft project at the end of my review.
Do you know where the first chocolate Easter bunnies were made? Here is the scoop, according to picture book author and illustrator, Maria Claret.
The Chocolate Rabbit
Written and illustrated by Maria Claret
Translated by Jane O’Sullivan
Publishers: Barons Juvenile (originally published in Spain)
Ages: 2 – 8
Themes: Mastering tasks and skills, Easter, crafting, dealing with disappointment, family togetherness
Opening: “Not so very long ago, the Rabbit family lived in a little town not far from here.”
Synopsis: Bertie Rabbit and his sisters want to help their artistic father who paints beautiful Easter eggs, but they are too young. Bertie decides he is old enough to help his father and buys eggs with his own money, intending to decorate them and surprise his father. The little bunny is sadly disappointed when he trips and the basket tips over, breaking all of the eggs. Bertie’s mother makes a pot of chocolate to lift her son’s spirits…but when Bertie climbs up for a taste, disaster strikes and Bertie is covered in lukewarm chocolate. Bertie’s father looks at his son and has an ingenious idea…chocolate bunnies!
Why do I like this book:
Success often comes on the heels of failure! I love books that encourage children to keep on trying as they learn to master tasks and skills. Self-esteem is not built with empty praise…it is developed and strengthened as young children learn to do things for themselves. A child’s sense of self-worth increases as he takes these important steps…and learning to deal with disappointment is one of those steps. This is a sweet story about working together as a family…relevant with the busy hectic pace many families experience today…each family will find their own unique ways of spending quality time together.
The illustrations are charming…they remind me of Beatrix Potter’s work.
Child Care Lounge has quite a few lovely Easter crafts as well as bunny poems here
Angel Fire has an Easter/Spring Unit with many book and craft and cooking ideas here.
Mama-Knows (colored egg picture below) has lots of recipes for coloring Easter eggs here.
Children love arts and crafts! Here is an activity that will please every eco-minded parent.
PAINTING EASTER EGGS WITH NATURAL DYES
You will need: Hard-boiled white eggs (cooled), Q-tips, one or more of the following depending on how many colors you want: ¼ cup blueberries (blue), ¼ cup cranberries (red), 1 tsp tumeric (yellow), markers, a small bowl for each color, cover-ups, two small pots and water to boil.
1. Cover the work surface and workers to protect from staining (wear disposable plastic gloves if desired).
2. Boil ½ cup water, add crushed blueberries, simmer for 5 minutes and then pour into small bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Do the same for the cranberries.
3. Pour 1 tsp tumeric and ½ cup hot water in a small bowl, stir and let cool.
4. Put an egg into each bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes, turning several times with a spoon. Then lift each egg out and let dry.
5. Use markers to add designs.
6. Tip: while waiting for the eggs to absorb the color, go on a color-naming hunt throughout your house…how many red, blue and yellow items can your child find?
This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.