Easter passed and I never found the time to mention a perfect addition to that Easter basket. It is never too late for a good book and this one is good for any season, though it does seem especially appropraite for spring.
Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan is perfect to share with your young listener or read by someone who has newly mastered the art of reading chapter books. . Read it out loud if you can, because the language is a large part of what I love about this book. It is even the perfect shape, size, and color to appeal to all the senses
Emmaline and her family live in Neatasapin, a town where everything has to be in its place all the time. There are no mud puddles, no trees, no grass, and certainly no bunnies. Children are supposed to be neat, tidy, and quiet at all times. Emmaline just doesn't fit in. She likes to jump in puddles, run down the street, and shout out wondrous happy phrases like "Dinglederrydee" and "Hoopalala". Because she doesn't fit in with the other "perfect" children, Emmaline is lonely. She wants a bunny to be her friend. When she finds one--perhaps in a dream--she learns that she must make her home an invitation to a bunny. Yes, there is a moral there, but it is told with delight and humor so I can overlook how sweet and sappy it could be. Instead of saccharin, this story is fun, engaging, and just plain charming. The author's soft illustrations are a perfect accompaniment.
As a final bonus, the book is printed in the most earth friendly manner that they could find--at least that is what the publisher says. It is entirely recycled papers. There is even an accounting of how much energy and paper was saved. I know there are those who will scoff at this, but, even if it is not absolutely accurate in the tally of savings, it is nice to see publishers thinking about the earth as they turn out truly enjoyable books.