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Last-Minute Springy Easter Basket Books
Still need some Easter basket stuffers? These whimsical, charming books have Easter and spring (bunnies, chickens) themes and complement jellybeans and chocolate eggs.
"P. Zonka Lays an Egg" by Julie Paschkis; Peachtree Publishers; 32 pages; $16.95.
Translated from a Ukrainian folk tale, this story of a "black sheep" chicken that would rather wander than lay eggs is heartwarming and adorable. The other chickens think P. Zonka is just lazy, but really she's perceptive and appreciates the clouds and flowers around her. Eventually, P. Zonka decides to lay an egg, and the result is a spectacular decorated egg with colors of the sky and flowers.
Julie Paschkis' folkloric illustrations paint a cheery portrait of individuality and following one's own path in this witty, beautiful tale.
"Hooray for Hoppy!" by Tim Hopgood; Farrar Straus Giroux; 30 pages; $16.99.
A curious, wide-eyed bunny can't wait for spring to arrive and wakes up to investigate ice and snow way too early. Finally, the bunny wakes up one day to hear birds singing. He also smells flowers, sees lambs in the meadow, nibbles fresh green grass and feels the warm ground with his feet.
A springtime journey of the senses, Tim Hopgood's tale for preschoolers is full of vivid sights, sounds and feels. The end has a description of the five senses as they relate to the story. His whimsical, chalk drawing-like pictures are refreshingly zesty.
"Fairy Animals: Bella the Bunny" by Lily Small; Henry Holt; 135 pages; $5.99.
The amazingly adorable "Fairy Animals" series of easy-reading chapter books is enchanting and magical.
Cute as can be, partially illustrated with black and white sketches, and aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds, Lily Small's "Fairy Animals" series also includes "Chloe the Kitten," "Mia the Mouse" and "Paddy the Puppy."
"Easter Parade" from Priddy Books; 10 pages; $8.99.
This sturdy, oversized board book has big, moving googly eyes that personalize the smiling faces of a bunny, sunflower, chocolate egg, chick and lamb. The cheery text is rhyming: "Three chirpy chicks are learning how to fly. They flap their wings in turn reaching higher in the sky!"
Toddlers will love the interactive eyes and funny faces.
Other board books perfect for Easter baskets include: "Hide and Seek Bunnies" (Priddy Books), with elaborate springtime tabs and flaps to lift; "Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny" (Nosy Crow/Candlewick) is a chunky pull-tab book also with tabs perfect for little hands; "Hop! Hop!" by Leslie Patricelli (Candlewick) is a funny chronicle of a baby's first Easter; and "Llama Llama Easter Egg" by Anna Dewdney (Viking) is a funny tale of an Easter egg's bird surprise.
To find out more about Lee Littlewood, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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