Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Recommendation for Spring and and Easter

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
by DuBose Heyward

Written in 1939 by Du Bose Heyward, who went on to write the novel, Porgy, and the lyrics for much of the Gershwin musical, Porgy and Bess. The illustrations are by Marjorie Hack, who also illustrated the book, The Story of Ping (which I will write about at another time).

This story was one my mother introduced me to as a child. I still have my original copy, and have added several more copies since then. Thankfully it has remained in print all these years.

This secular Easter story tells of one young country bunny, brown tailed with a warren of twenty-one children, who aspires to become one of the five Easter Bunnies. The “big white bunnies who lived in fine houses” and “Jack Rabbits with long legs” scoff at her and tell her to “go back to the country and eat a carrot.”

Her dreams are put on hold when "by and by she had a husband and then one day, much to her surprise there were twenty-one cottontail babies to take care of." She is a rabbit after all.

But this doesn't keep her from her dreams. She is industrious, and she raises twenty-one self-sufficient bunnies who are able to do everything around the house! She is a wise rabbit and knows that she can't do it all alone. There are even two rabbits trained to sing songs, and two to paint pictures to keep the family happy (I like her thoughts on this).

The day comes when she is able to try out for an opening to become one of the Easter Bunnies. Grandfather Rabbit, who is very wise, is intrigued by this mother rabbit with her twenty-one children in tow. He asks her how she could take the job when she has so many to take care of at home? She explains how she has raised them which shows her wisdom and cleverness and helps ensure that she is chosen.

She's also incredibly swift, which helps too.

Of course there is much more to follow, Cottontail delivers her eggs, climbs a mountain, and faces a big hurdle...I'll leave it there to encourage you to read this for yourself and your own children.

Which you'll want to do so that you find out about those special gold shoes!

What's interesting to me about this book is that written 73 years ago the message is still so timely. So often current titles with themes of race, class and gender prejudice are overdone and preachy. This book never broaches that overdone territory. It's a sweet subtle story that clearly shows what determination, dedication, cleverness and ambition can help you to attain. This classic story seems startlingly contemporary.

PLUS...with thoughts of the upcoming Edible Book Festival, I found these amazingly done cookies online! Enjoy

Found at

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this book. It is a rare treasure. Thank you for this excellent review!