Though the Easter Bunny is known for leaving candy-filled eggs, children’s literature has a tradition of rabbits who are bit more devious. Meet the latest batch in the hilarious Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food by Bob Shea (New York: Hyperion, 2014). Buddy the monster is set on eating the little bunnies, but each day they trick him into playing with them through a series of clever stalling tactics – offering cupcakes until he is too full, going swimming (everyone knows you can’t eat before swimming, right?), taking him to the carnival (who wants to eat after riding on spinny, whippy rides?)…and then they unleash their secret weapon: everyone knows you’re not supposed to play with your food. Shea’s wacky text and anarchic, joyful illustrations make this a boisterous storytime read. Share this book in storytimes about food, play, friends, tricksters, or just plain silliness, or pair it with Candace Fleming’s Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! (New York: Atheneum, 2002) and the Brer Rabbit tales of Joel Chandler Harris for a storytime built around trickster rabbits.
Me and My Mom! by Alison Ritchie (Good Books, Intercourse, PA, 2009)
Although baby bear is little and unsure of the world around him, he knows with Mom by his side he can do anything. Mom shares daily adventures with her baby bear, all the while reassuring him that he is special, loved and with time will grow up to do all the things she can. For more loving family adventures with baby bear, check out Me and My Dad! by the same author.
Hooray for Spring! by Kazuo Iwamura (North-South Books Inc., 2009)
Mick, Mack and Molly, sibling squirrels, are excited to see the first signs of spring. As they explore the caterpillars, bees and trees, they discover a baby bird waiting for its mama to bring food. The squirrel siblings attempt to offer the baby bird some of their favorite foods, but the bird isn’t interested in anything they offer. Mama bird soon arrives and surprises the squirrels with the lunch she brings. For more Mick, Mack and Molly adventures, check out Hooray for Summer! and Hooray for Snow!
Bunny is so excited because spring is here,
Can you give spring a big hello cheer? (“Hooray!”)
Can you bounce like bunny, high in the air? (Bounce in place)
Shake your head like bunny, shake your hair! (shake head)
Bunny can wiggle his ears, I bet you can too. (wiggle ears)
Bunny also wiggles his nose, can you? (wiggle nose)
Often bunny tries to hide by sitting very still (pretend to hide behind hands)
Can you sit like bunny? I bet you will. (all sit down)
My mom and I are working in the garden today.
First we have to loosen the soil. (mime digging)
Then mom gives me some seeds.
We have to be careful not to plant them too close together. (mime sprinkling seeds)
Next I carefully give each seed a small drink of water (mime pouring water)
and wait for the sunshine to warm them. (point up at sun)
Mom and I tend the garden every day, giving the seeds a little water. (mime watering)
Finally we start to see little green leaves sprout from the soil. (hunch down, slowly stand)
In the summer we have tall strong plants, both vegetables and flowers. (reach arms over head)
I can’t wait until next spring when we plant again!
5 Caterpillars (to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider”)
5 caterpillars went looking for some lunch.
1 found a leaf, crunch, crunch, crunch.
He made a little cocoon and he hid himself inside.
And when he woke up he was a beautiful butterfly!
4 caterpillars… (continue, counting down to 1)