The Night Before Easter
By Natasha Wing; illustrated by Kathy Couri
’Twas the night before Easter, just before dawn
not a creature was stirring out on the lawn
Our baskets were set on the table with care,
in hopes that the Easter Bunny soon would be there…
Eves of holidays are usually fraught with excitement, expectation and little sleep for kids or parents.
It’s the waiting, the wondering, the watching and the wishful thinking of what the dawn will bring.
And with Easter, it’s the arrival of the Easter Bunny with his Willy Wonka-like treasure trove of brimming baskets filled with sweets, such as the traditional jelly beans, marshmallow chicks, dyed eggs and, of course, the centerpiece chocolate rabbit.
Natasha Wing’s “Night Before” books are a fun rhyming read to the familiar cadence of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. It takes young readers on a prequel of the events that will envelop them come Easter morning.
Here, farm kids along with night capped raccoons, frogs, red foxes, lady bugs and a mouse or two, are all asleep, awaiting the arrival of the Easter Bunny when:
Then out in the barn
the hens made such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed
to see what was the matter.
The matter is the “…big fuzzy rabbit with a crook in his ear.” And, this yearly Easter delivery bunny has a yellow chick ( if I may clarify; a baby chicken) in tow, that assists this hare with a flair for conveying confectionary delights:
His soft fur was spotless
from his head to his toe;
his vest was all checkered;
his tie in a bow.
That’s exactly how I had him pegged in my imagination when I was young; nattily dressed for his annual foray with “…his tail like cotton; his nose like a berry.”
Looks like a raspberry to me!
And not to be outdone by “chocolates and striped lollipops, the Easter Bunny has one last egg treasure hunt drop off delivery before he hops away:
He carefully hid them
on couches and chairs,
the mantel, the bookshelf,
and under the stairs.
Plus, the Easter Bunny even leaves a parting note for young readers, different from the called out refrain of Saint Nicholas, as this hare in a tear, hippity hops on to his next delivery:
Happy Easter to all –
and to all a great day!
Kathy Couri’s inviting depiction of a farm with red barn, replete with a cozy, comfy, and Victorian pastel cottage, complete with fish scale accents, can be seen on the cusp of spring’s most famous harbinger since the groundhog!
It’s the perfect invitational abode for a visit from the Easter Bunny.
And, Natasha Wing’s The Night Before Easter is the perfect pre bedtime read to calm kids, awaiting his arrival!
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