This is the second post in my children’s literature series. You can find a list of all the previous discussions here. In case you missed the first post, here is a recap of what you can expect in this succession:
THE CHILDREN’S LITERATURE SERIES
Each post will focus on a different topic in the world of children’s lit. In terms of age groups, I will only go up to middle grade, even though the young adult genre is technically considered to be children’s literature too. You can expect to see posts where I will give my recommendations on different subcategories of children’s lit. These will include, but won’t be limited to, stories that feature animals, adventure books, pictures books, fairy tales and so on. There will also be discussions where I will focus on one specific author.
For today’s discussion, we are going to explore some vintage Easter and rabbit books.
Just to make things clear, the books on this list (with the exception of one) will have an original publish date of at least 50 years ago. Anything more recent is’t technically considered ‘true vintage’. I am also going to share some used editions, and where you can purchase them.
Let’s get started!
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is the perfect book for this time of year. Not only does it feature a rabbit, which makes it a great read for Easter, but the outdoorsy garden setting on the English countryside creates the perfect atmosphere for springtime.
I think most of us know what this is about by now, but for those of you who don’t, let me fill you in. The narrative follows Peter who is an anthropomorphic character dressed in human clothing. When Peter’s mother bans him from entering Mr. McGregor’s garden, it only makes him want to go there more. One day, Peter gives into his temptation and trespasses into the forbidden territory, ends up getting chased about by Mr. McGregor, and ultimately loses his jacket and shoes in the process. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is truly a classic that I could not recommend enough.
The Velveteen Rabbit is yet another classic rabbit book. The narrative follows a stuffed toy rabbit who wishes himself to be real until one day his wish comes true. I don’t know about you, but if any of my stuffed animals came to life when I was little, I might have peed myself out of pure terror.
The Bunny Book is part of the Little Golden Book series. In it, a family of bunnies predict what they think the baby bunny will be when he grows up. Ideas range from a fireman and clown, all the way to a policeman and candy store owner. This is an adorable yet simple story–perfect for Easter.
The Golden Egg Book is a title in the Big Little Golden Book series. Unlike most of the books in this collection which are small, The Golden Egg Book was published in a much larger format.
The story follows a lonely little bunny who one day finds an egg. Not long after, the little bunny discovers a little duck hatching from inside. The illustrations in this book are vibrantly colored and just all around beautiful.
This is the first book on this list that actually relates directly to Easter. In it, we follow a handful of farm animals as they plan a surprise for the little girl who takes care of them. Everyone ranging from the brown hen to the white rabbit contribute to making Ann Eliza not only an Easter basket, but a parade as well.
Another Little Golden Book, Little Cottontail follows a rabbit who learns from his mother how to watch out for foxes. On a chance encounter with one, Little Cottontail quickly discovers the importance of those lessons. This is a great book about how critical it is to listen to your parents and the lessons they teach you when growing up.
Winner of the 1943 Caldecott Honor, Marshmallow is the timeless story of a tabby cat and baby rabbit whom upon moving in together, learn to love each other, and ultimately become the best of friends. Not only are the pastel colors in this book are absolutely breathtaking, but the overall softness of the actual illustrations are equally as beautiful.
Like Marshmallow, The Egg Tree is another winner of the Caldcecott Medal. The narrative follows a brother and sister who, on Easter morning discover a beautiful egg tree in their Grandmom’s attic. Each egg in the tree was hand painted by their Grandmom when she was a little girl. This picture book features tons of vivid colors and is a wonderful nod to Pennsylvania Dutch folk art that features Hex signs.
The Country Bunny is about a female bunny who attains the prominent position of Easter Bunny. We follow her as she finds a way to make her rounds on Easter even though she is the mother of twenty-one children.
The Lively Little Rabbit is yet another Little Golden Book on this list. The story is simple and sweet following a little rabbit who manages to outwit a mean old weasel.
This is the only book on this list that wasn’t published at least 50 years ago. Even though this isn’t technically true vintage, I am still going to include it.
The story follows a rabbit named Orson Abbott who’s family members are all Easter egg artists. They love decorating and painting, and for Orson, no project is too big–even the town bridge.
Again, the pastel colors in this are soft and light, making this book the perfect read for Easter!
I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Happy Easter!
Until next time,