For those of you who love to read books about bunnies, eggs, chicks, etc during springtime and the Easter season, this list is for you! Below are some of our very favorite books that generally relate to Easter festivities, but can easily be incorporated into your year-round library.
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Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt (ages 0-2) — This is a big claim, but… I think this was my oldest’s favorite book for a long time when she was about a year old. In fact, we had 3 versions of it (wonderfully given to us as gifts), and she read them so much that only one survived until our youngest was born. It’s just plain fun, and interactive on a more unique level than most books for children this young.
That’s Not My Bunny (Usborne Touchy-Feely Book) (ages 0-3) — My children absolutely ADORED the whole “That’s Not My…” series from Usborne when they were small. The touch-and-feel aspects of these books are very well done, and the text is repetitive and predictable enough for even the youngest talkers to be able to “read” independently.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram (ages 0 and up) — A must-have for any home with small children, in my opinion. In our house, this has inspired great fun as we go back and forth with our children, trying to best them with our description of how big our love is for them.
Richard Scarry’s Bunnies by Richard Scarry (ages 2-5) — This is one that we actually store with our Easter books and bust out with our holiday-specific reading each spring. We’ve been fascinated over the years with how many different kids of rabbits there are, which Scarry lightly teaches readers through his entertaining illustrations.
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (ages 4-8, though we read and enjoyed this one from about 1 year on) (and of course, Goodnight Moon) — A sweet story about the relationship and love between a mother bunny and her baby. Brown and Hurd alternate story accompanied by black and white sketches with full-color double spreads to show adventures happening in both rabbits’ imaginations.
First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (ages 2-6) — Written with sparse and simple text, Seeger address the age-old questions of which came first, the chicken or the egg, through rich oil illustrations punctuated with clever die-cut shapes. First the Egg was both a Caldecott Honor Medal and Geisel Honor Book (for early readers) winner!
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes (ages 2-7) — I’ve got two Henkes books on this list and a few more coming on my list for spring and Earth Day… His seasonal books are just delightful, and children love his illustrations! Little White Rabbit tells the story of a curious young rabbit ready to explore the world on his own.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco (We love the version illustrated by Charles Santore, especially when paired with the next book on the list!) (ages 2 and up, though I’m inclined to say it’s a bit long for toddlers…) — A magical story of what makes a toy real and alive to the children who love it.
The Velveteen Rabbit Coloring Book: A Classic Editions Coloring Book by Charles Santore — My parents gave this to our oldest daughter last year for Easter, and she absolutely adored being able to color her own real illustrations to a “real book.” The story here is also slightly abridged, making it easier to read with younger audiences.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (ages 3-5, though powerful for older readers, too) — You can read my Instagram review here. Everyone needs this in your home or classroom library, and you should revisit it regularly, year-round. Doerrfeld created such an important book about both how to handle frustration or sadness, as well as how to help friends through these same emotions.
Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro (ages 3-7) — You can read my full review here. This is a delightful story about a bunny who loves books, but has to find a creative way to get them when the weather turns cold and the local library’s storytime is moved inside.
The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, both inspired by Beatrix Potter and written by Emma Thompson, illustrated by Eleanor Taylor (ages 3-7) — I am admittedly not a huge Peter Rabbit fan (blasphemy, I know), but a friend suggested I check these versions out, and they are indeed delightful! I found them easier to read aloud than the original Beatrix Potter stories, and the books come with audio cds narrated by Emma Thompson herself! I’m totally fine listening to her tell me mischievous rabbit stories over and over again!
Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (ages 3-8) — As of March 20, 2019, this was 41% off on Amazon! Miller is absolutely amazing (you can find my recommendations of two of her other books here and here), and Wheeler’s illustrations here are so fun and full of detail! This one is the story of following one’s heart and adventuring forth, but knowing home is always there when it’s time to return. We received this in a Bookroo box a few years ago and have gifted it to many a friend since.
Egg by Kevin Henkes (ages 4-8, though our girls loved it younger, too) — If you’ve got your own copy of this, make sure to check under the dust cover for the hard-back cover illustration! Then, read to enjoy an endearing story of 4 eggs, one of which gives the other occupants an unexpected surprise when it hatches. At it’s surface, it’s entertaining, but you can take conversations about this book much deeper by addressing preconceived notions, assumptions and prejudices, and the importance of knowing someone’s character instead of just seeing their outward appearance.
My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann (age 4-8) — This Caldecott Medal winner will entertain readers young and old! Using few words (many pages are completely wordless), we watch as Rabbit, a fumbling but enthusiastic friend, tries to help his friend mouse get a toy plane out of a tree.
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson (ages 4-8) — You can read my full review here. While this is a perfect spring-time read, the lessons about the ripple effects of selfishness and giving are important year-round. Another story about a rabbit and a mouse and how the decisions they make affect others.
The Good Egg by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald (ages 4-8) — A sequel to The Bad Seed, John and Oswald once again put together an entertaining story with a valuable lesson. Know anyone who may put a little too much pressure on himself to be good, and to make sure others around him are also doing the right thing all the time? This may be a perfect book for him!
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat (ages 4 and up) — This is another book that I think belongs in every home and classroom library. Santat uses a story all children know to teach the follow-up lesson of overcoming fears and trying again… A completely relatable story of perseverance, following dreams, and finding those inner passions that make you the person you were meant to be.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo — I’m hoping to do this as a seasonal chapter book read-aloud this spring… Hoping is the operative word here, because while my children LOVE to listent to chapter books via audiobook, they have a hard time listening to us read chapter books aloud… But this sweet story would make a perfect bunny-themed read-aloud, and you can’t really go wrong with Kate DiCamillo! Edward Tulane is the story of a beloved china doll, separated from its owner, trying to find its way back to that love.
What are your favorite children’s books featuring bunnies and eggs? The books wonderful for the Easter season, but that can also be read year-round?