Building Self-Esteem: The Chocolate Rabbit


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.

Related Activities:

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.



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.

39 thoughts on “Building Self-Esteem: The Chocolate Rabbit

  1. Encouraging books like this are always winners with me! I am a huge fan of Beatrix Potter so I know I will love the artwork too.

    I love the Easter Eggs With Natural Dyes. Wonderful idea. Thank you for adding this book to the list. 🙂


    • Glad you like the craft project, Robyn! It teamed up so well with the book, I think. Under Susanna’s leadership, we are all putting together an amazing resource for parents and teachers. 🙂


    • Wow, Erik…so glad you liked the natural dye Easter egg project. My kids always loved arts and crafts…the kitchen table was always a busy place with craft projects going on most of the time.
      Bertie is a pretty cool name! I love that the little bunny wanted to help out his family.


  2. Poor Bertie! The book sounds sweet and I love the activities. We used natural dyes a few years ago for our Easter eggs and the colors were lovely. We may have to do it again this year!


  3. What a great pick! I have totally enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate you using one of my articles for reference. It feels really good to be able to share with people like you and I hope you will continue to do so in the future. My best wishes to you and everyone sharing! Mama Hanna


    • Hi Hanna,
      You are so sweet to come by and comment…that was a wonderful article you had posted…I was happy to list your link…the more the merrier when it comes to sharing ideas with moms and teachers and picture book writers and illustrators…we all want to provide the best opportunities for the children. 🙂


  4. I’ll find this one for Easter. I love holiday-themed books, and this one seems to have a great message. Thanks for always coming up with books with wonderful messages, Vivian. And thanks for sharing some sunshine with me!


  5. This book sounds wonderful – I agree 100% with your point about children building self-esteem! The art is so sweet – I thought of Beatrix Potter right away too. And as always your activities are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this one, Vivian!! 🙂


    • Susanna…again I thank YOU! If not for your PPBF, I would not have this amazing community to share with. 🙂 Glad you liked the story and craft…self-esteem is such an important component of a child’s life…affecting everything!


  6. Wow, I never thought of using natural dyes for the eggs. Makes me less hesitant to eat them when the dye bleeds through, too!

    Thanks as well for your thoughts on self-esteem, and for this book recommendation. As a mom of 4 young kids, issues of self-worth are very important to me!


    • Glad the book and craft will be put to good use, Amy…that’s what it is all about! I so enjoy sharing these ideas…and I get so much back in return from the contributions of everyone else. 🙂
      Four children…bless you. 🙂 How old are they?


  7. Another great selection with wonderful activities. You are so creative. I would never had thought of making natural dyes for Easter eggs. Enjoyed your thoughts about self-esteem. This book has a lot packed into it.


    • You are right, Pat…there is so much in this little story…self-esteem, getting along with other, creativity, helping the family, family togetherness, dealing with disappoinment, parental encouragement…and on and on. 🙂
      Glad you liked it…thanks for your kind wods. 🙂


    • Thank you, Margaret! Glad you liked them…books with strong messages are so important for young children…they really identify with the characters. And with Easter coming, I’m glad I found one that most of the group had not seen before. 🙂


  8. Hi Vivian, I’m glad to have discovered your site through the Perfect Picture Book meme. This looks like a very timely book indeed and I loved how you incorporated this activity on painting easter eggs. While I do think that my ten year old daughter may be too much of a tweener to participate in Easter egg hunts, I’m sure that she’d still enjoy this painting activity. Thanks for sharing the book as well.


    • Perhaps I’ll try to post the pictures of my daughter at age 19 and daughter-in-law to be (she and my son had just announced their engagement (they will celebrate their 13th anniversary on May 8) coloring Easter eggs. We also do the graham cracker gingerbread houses (that craft is in my book also) whenever we can all be together for Christmas. Certain crafts became traditions in our home…creating a bond with royal icing and love. 🙂
      Glad you liked the book and craft…it’s so much fun to share with everyone. 🙂


    • Hi Stacy,
      Glad you liked the book and craft. It would be fun to do a little cooking activity with berries…maybe do pancakes with berry faces…or a fruit salad with berries…and then also use the berries for the craft. Does Enzo like blueberries?


  9. Like Susanna I immediately thought of Breatrix Potter when I saw the book cover. What a lovely story and message. Loved the Easter activity and have already copy and pasted it so I can have a go with my little nephew when he comes visiting in August. (I know its a long way off but I’m so excitied and collecting lots of activities we can do together). Thanks Vivian.


    • That’s a great idea, Diane. I still have the looseleaf binder i made when i was teaching kindergarten…with the paper plate crafts, etc. That was the beginning of my book. 🙂
      I’m excited for next month when i go to see my 3 year old grandson. 🙂


  10. Interesting. I’d never considered using fruits as a dye, although I doubt blueberries would last long enough to make anything with, once my middle grandson discovers they are in the house. He is a blueberry eating kid! LOL. He takes after his Grandma. 😉


    • Hahaha…that’s so funny, Marcy!
      When we lived in Connecticut, we had 100 blueberry bushes in our backyard…in August, we had to put out a call to friends and neighbors to come and help us pick the berries…we also had red and black raspberries which weren’t as much fun because of all of the thorns. 🙂
      Glad you liked the book and craft!


  11. I love this book already! The illustrations on the cover remind me of Beatrix Potter. The story sounds precious-I love the theme. I am on a mission now to find this book for my school library! Thanks, Vivian 🙂


    • Don’t they, Kelly? I (and a couple of others) thought so, too. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 🙂 But when it comes to illustrations in a book…or a story itself, I’m not quite sure I agree. 🙂
      Hope you get a copy for your library…does your library have a copy of my book yet? 🙂 🙂 Just sent off two copies to a library in Anchorage, Alaska that ordered them on Friday. 🙂


  12. Hey Viviankirkfield,
    I know what you mean, People with a healthy high self-esteem is one who views life in a positive way. Although self esteem development should generally start from early childhood, it is never too late to fix past mistakes and try to build self esteem in adulthood. Self esteem is how one views himself, either negatively or positively.
    I look forward to your next post


  13. I am just now getting to read last week’s PPBF list along with this week’s list. I will have a doubly long list for the library this week.

    You are unbelievably creative! Thanks for all of the wonderful activity ideas to go along with the wonderful books you suggest!


    • Thank you, Penny! I know…it sometimes seems that we are trying to do the impossible by posting…and reading and commenting on everyone else’s posts. My only fear is that I get so busy, I don’t have time to write…or sleep. 🙂


  14. Pingback: PPBF: Sloppy Kisses…Self-Esteem and Peer Pressure…What’s the Connection? « Positive Parental Participation

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