The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

Jan Brett turns her prodigious talents to an Easter story!

Hoppi the rabbit is now old enough to participate in the egg decorating competition.  Each year the rabbits decorate Easter eggs and the winning bunny got to help the Easter Rabbit hide the eggs.  But Hoppi needs a great idea for his egg, so he hops around to visit the other rabbits.  Each bunny is doing something unique and interesting and inspires Hoppi to try their technique.  As he visits, each rabbit offers him a scrap of material or a tool as well as ideas.  Hoppi tries to come up with the perfect idea, but is distracted by the distressed calls of some robins.  One of Mother Robin’s eggs fell out of the nest on onto the forest floor.  Hoppi knew just what he had to do and sat gently down on the egg with his warm fur.  Hoppi sat and sat and sat on the egg, unable to create an egg of his own for the Easter Rabbit.  But the Easter Rabbit knows just what makes the perfect egg for Easter!

Done in her signature style with one main image on a two-page spread and two smaller images on each side, this book celebrates Easter, spring, art and creativity.  It is also about self-sacrifice and giving to the community.  Brett has created a book that never becomes overly sweet.  A large part of this is her attention to minute details that make the rabbits realistic, the forest come alive, and the individual eggs masterpieces.  I also appreciate her use of wild plants and flowers as the framing for the illustrations.  Brett’s use of repetition as Hoppi travels the village of rabbits allows for a real surprise when Hoppi discovers Mother Robin and the egg. 

This book will work well with a group, though the tiny details are worth lingering over and discussing within a family or very small group of children.  Appropriate for ages 3-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Penguin.