Sunday, April 09, 2023

Happy Easter

Toht, Patricia and Jarvis (illus.) Pick a Perfect Egg
14 February 2023, Candlewick Press
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

A little girl and her mother go through all of their preparations for making colored eggs for Easter, including buying them from a "pick your own" market, boiling them, and dying them with a variety of natural and commercial dyes. After the eggs are all done, the girl goes to bed dreaming of the next day, when she wakes up with great glee, dons a bunny suit, and proceeds to an Easter Egg hunt outside with her friends. They find and collect a variety of plastic eggs in their decorated baskets, then add some of the home dyed eggs to make an appealing decoration.

Told in rhyming verse and illustrated in bright spring colors, this book captures the fun and merriment of Easter rituals in a secular way. The poetry boldly used trochaic lines, which is hard to pull off, but the scansion holds up really well, and trochees certainly propel the story forward with a lot of excitement. (ADD some water... SET a timer...) There is just the right amount of text on each page for a read aloud, and I imagine that this is a book that will get read repeatedly leading up to the holiday.

I don't know that I have ever seen a picture book that gives so many details about how to color eggs, but this even talked about using white crayon to create designs on eggs before they were dyed. I'll forgive the omission of the coolest way I have ever seen to dye eggs: wet a flower or leaf and place it on the egg, then wrap it in onion skins, tie up in a rag, and boil it. The eggs have a cool golden or red (depending on the skins you use) effect, and a white spot where the foliage was placed!

In my family, DuBose Heyward's 1939 The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes was our go-to Easter book, more for the female empowerment than anything else. Sadler's It's Not Easy Being a Bunny was a close second. This would have been a popular choice, since dying eggs and going to a local egg hunt in a park always played a big part in our activities. The cover is beautiful, and begs to be part of an Easter decorating display!

No comments:

Post a Comment