Hopping towards Easter (already!)

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It’s true that the start of this year has been fraught – not to put too fine a point on it. In my house: switch jobs on the last day of holidays, school is delayed by a week for The Kid, a week or so later The Kid is not well and after a couple of days tests positive for Covid, so we’re both in quarantine for a week, get over that (negative test on the Thursday) so she still can’t go to school on the Friday as its pupil-free at her school, freak extreme rain/storm event in Qld causing flooding all weekend, schools closed for two days but she still can’t get to school as the trains are not yet running after the floods, then we all get sent home on Thursday and schools are closed again on Friday. So she’s not been to school for three of the six weeks of term, and I’ve missed a week and a half. Seriously, can we just have 2021 back? I promise not to complain again! Meanwhile, now it’s a mere few weeks until Easter bounces around again but I want to give the heads up on these two beauties so that you have time to get them!!

The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

[120th Anniversary picture book edition]

Penguin Australia

March 2022

  • ISBN: 9780241545379
  • Imprint: Warne
  • RRP: $16.99

I truly wish you could see just how glorious this is with its stunning gold foil cover! If ever a fictional character deserved such a beautiful anniversary edition, it must surely be Peter, whose adventures and near-escapes have been enthralling little readers for over a century with completely undiminished love and enthusiasm.

When Beatrix wrote her first little story, naming the central character after her own childhood pet, purely for the amusement of a sick child, I feel sure she had no accurate idea of his enduring appeal, though she was certainly astute. Indeed, when friends urged her to publish the story, it was soundly rejected by numerous publishers and so, boldly, she published it herself. The rest, as they say, is history. The initial success prompted Frederick Warne & Co to issue it commercially and now, 120 years later, it has sold in excess of 45 millions copies, been translated into 36 languages, and spawned so much merchandising, film versions and spin-off books. Potter, herself, saw the possibilities for marketing with her own creations of a soft toy, a board game and nursery wallpaper in the first few years following publication.

In the intervening years, it is difficult to think of an ‘incarnation’ of Peter in merchandise that has been left untouched and yet, despite, what is almost saturation this rather naughty little rabbit, his friends and family – and even his nemesis – continue to delight children around the world.

This beautiful edition is absolutely worthy of honouring the longevity of the first little white book with its adherence to Potter’s original illustrations but now fully in colour and such gorgeous endpapers!

If you have a special little person in your circle, expecting a new arrival or simply to add to your collection to celebrate this significant literary milestone, you should order your copy immediately.

The Unfunny Bunny – Adrian Beck and James Hart

Penguin Australia

  • March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761043093
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $17.99

Ok, I admit, this is not Peter Rabbit or even close to it – but it is really very funny, and it will have your kiddos rolling around like Easter eggs on a slippery slope. For reading aloud adults like myself, it’s completely the joy of so many rabbit-related puns that brings the joy (particularly given my penchant for all things rabbit). For the munchkins this is just part of the fun with the rhymes and the hare-larious antics of the family adding to the mix (NOT MIX-omatosis!!).

I have to say after the deluge of a week we’ve had in the Sunshine State the premise of a washed-out Easter doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility, but fingers crossed our wild weather will have settled by then!

’Twas the night before EASTER
When I spotted the BUNNY!
So I offered to help
Make the EGG HUNT more FUNNY!

James’ illustrations which make the bunny-impersonating kid look as much like a rabbit as the actual rabbit looks like a rabbit make me laugh just by seeing them, and the riotous colours, facial expressions plus the weird and wonderful situations, all add up to one laugh-out-loud reading experience.

My prediction is that when offered up as a read-aloud – the reading will inevitably finish up with ‘AGAIN!’ from your audience.

I highly recommend you rush out and buy both of these – different but so very appropriate, particularly as Easter gifts (my girls always got books PLUS chocolate!) – and enjoy them both!

2 responses »

  1. Sue, here’s hoping that we have no more crazy events. The 120th anniversary copy of Peter Rabbit is perfectly timed for my granddaughter’s second birthday. I can’t wait to see it in real life.

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