Margaret Wise Brown wrote over a hundred books in her lifetime and was most famous for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, but here’s a little Easter story that would seem ordinary if you didn’t know who wrote it. If you look at the book closely, you can see the same control of language and mastery of story is in these pages too. Incidentally, The Golden Egg Book (for which I find no mention of a golden egg, by the way) was published the same year as Goodnight Moon.
I admit, my two-year-old twins responded more openly to this story than my six-year-old, but he did stay and listen in spite of himself. Curiosity gets the best of even the proudest six-year-old, and besides, we’re all getting ramped up for the Easter bunny’s visit this coming Sunday. I’m Jewish myself, but Lynn is Protestant, so it’s kind of a free-for-all come holiday time. I’m busy trying to figure out how to cook a nice ham. My ancestors are probably gagging in their graves right now.
So here’s the skinny with this book. A bunny finds a big egg and tries to crack it open. His attempts are numerous: he throws acorns and rocks. He jumps on top of it. He tries rolling it down a hill, but nothing seems to work. Exhausted, he falls asleep; naturally while he is sleeping the egg cracks open and a baby duck emerges. At this point my twin girls were so excited they were actually shrieking with glee.
The duck is happy to see the little bunny fast asleep before him, and he tries to wake him up, but in a coincidental reversal, he doesn’t have any luck with the same routine the bunny went through before. He throws things at him and rolls him down the hill. He jumps on top of him. Eventually the bunny awakens and all is well and happy (I hope I’m not ruining this suspenseful tale for you). As I said before, because we are in the hands of Margaret Wise Brown there really isn’t a word out of place. It’s lovely to read, and it’s a good story, too, particularly for the little ones. So happy Easter to you, even all you Chosen People out there. You know who you are. And happy Vintage Friday. I’ll be writing about two more Easter favorites in the next two days. That’s a lot to be happy for. ABZ