Featured Friend: The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
During my childhood, I had about thirty rabbits. My first one was an albino bunny named after one of my favorite aunts, Linda. I got him when I was six years old, and he lived till I was sixteen. Yes, he had to live with the name Linda, because when I discovered he was a boy, I didn’t want to confuse him by changing his name. (Love the way I thought as a child!) He and my other brown dwarf bunny, Terri, named after another aunt, married and thus began our adventure raising rabbits.
As a mother of three kids now, I’m all for low maintenance pets, so a few years ago when our oldest child was able to take on the responsibility of feeding a pet, we went at Easter time to get our first bunny. I had every intention of picking out a bunny together as a family, but when I walked into the pet store and saw an albino bunny just like Linda, I said, “That’s the one! Let’s name her Marshmallow, after our favorite treat.” Our kids happily agreed and Marshie has been hoppy with us ever since. I feel as though I have come full-circle in my bunny adventures.
Each Easter she makes her grand debut at the neighborhood Egg-citing Easter Event that we host. Families get to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny along with enjoying other fun activities, closing with an Easter egg hunt. It only took one reading of The Easter Egg by Jan Brett, for this book to capture our hearts. Even if you don’t raise rabbits, you will love the detailed, vibrant artwork and the themes of friendship, creativity, contentment with one’s personal best, sacrifice, and friendly competition.
Introducing Hoppi, His Artistic Friends, The Easter Bunny, & Mother Robin:
The rabbit with the winning Easter egg gets to help the Easter Bunny hide the eggs on Easter morning. Hoppi is eager to win, but undecided on how to design his egg. He hops over to visit several very helpful friends to get some ideas, but soon realizes he doesn’t possess their particular talents of designing eggs. Feeling overwhelmed, Hoppi goes into the forest to figure out how to make a special egg.
“Making a beautiful egg is harder than I imagined, he though. I guess I don’t have to win. I just want to make an egg I am proud of.”
He changes his focus from being THE best, to doing HIS best. Perhaps his change of perspective is the tool that Hoppi needs to be a success!
Suddenly, he changes his attention from designing an egg to protecting an egg, when a Mother Robin comes squawking down towards him and her fallen egg laying on the forest floor. Upset about the blue egg with her baby robin inside, Mother Robin is relieved when Hoppi dedicates the next several weeks to keeping the egg warm with his fur and protected from weather and wild animals till it hatches.
When the Easter Bunny (a Flemish Giant) comes into the glen to admire and collect all the beautiful eggs, he notices that one rabbit is missing. He finds Hoppi in the forest with the radiant new-born robin with him! Mother Robin and her other two babies are eagerly standing nearby.
Hoppi is the hero and winner and all his helpful friends cheer for him. “His best” is definitely something Hoppi can be proud of as it came from helping a fellow forest friend.
“Then the brave little bunny and the Easter Rabbit rode off together to hide the eggs for girls and boys to find on Easter morning.”
The last one there IS a winning egg!
Inviting You to Become FRIENDS with The Easter Egg . . .
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
Below is a FRIENDS list of questions and activities for you to use with your audience.
When asking the kids questions, share some of your answers first so that they can hear your examples and connect with you and the story in a meaningful way:
F- Would you feel better if you did your personal best and didn’t compare yourself to others? Tell about an activity (sport, project, instrument) that you are working on and describe how you are improving as you practice. How are you getting better, leading to your best?
R– Can you relate to Mother Robin when she had a friend help her? Who has helped you with something you valued? For example, maybe someone has helped you learn how to take care of a pet or garden that you loved. . . .
I- Imagine that you could have a designed egg from any of the rabbits in the story. Which egg would you choose and why?
E- Explore where the tradition of Easter egg hunts originated. What other Easter traditions do you enjoy? Find their origins too!
N- Navigate places in your town that would be great for Easter egg hunts.
D- Develop a cool design for an Easter egg and either draw it on oval paper, carve it on an oval shaped modeling clay, or paint it on an oval wooden egg. Use your eggs as an Easter decoration in your home.
S- Share the fun of Easter with your friends. Consider hosting or helping with a neighborhood, class, or church Egg-citing Easter Event:
Designers Decorating Paper & Wooden Easter Eggs:
Visit http://www.janbrett.com for coloring sheets and more!
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