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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Here Comes the Easter Cat, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudie Rueda. Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin. 2014. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"Well, of course
everyone loves the
Easter Bunny.

Why? Because he's nice?

He delivers chocolate
eggs to millions of kids.

It's a hard job."

Gosh, I don't know how I missed this in the spring! I do know that I don't want to wait until next spring to tell you all about it. Besides, it is a book that you can read at any time, in any place, and as many times as your young listeners are willing to hear it.

A cheery cat is taken aback when he notices an Easter Bunny poster. In that moment, a new Easter symbol is born: the Easter Cat. Now decidedly bad-tempered, the cat is willing to respond to an unseen speaker about the's the Easter Bunny. Using hastily drawn placards and easily recognisable facial expressions, the cat makes his point while the narrator attempts to help him understand the dilemma.

Would being an Easter Cat work? Why on earth not? This cat is not done with being annoyed at the Easter Bunny; at every turn, he lets the audience know it! He would deliver chocolate...chocolate bunnies! Why, bunnies? The page turn shows a chocolate headless bunny, and a gleeful, tummy-rubbing cat holding the illustrated version of it. How to get all the deliveries made? Simple, a motorcycle! That should make outpacing the Bunny easy...

Entirely too funny for words, your audience will be mesmerized by the antics displayed. Their hearts will melt when the Cat, wearing his heart on his sleeve, realizes that the Bunny does have a tough job and might need some welcome help. Once their deliveries are made, and the two have cemented their friendship, there is only one thing left to do.

Ta da! Another surprise ending that ensures a future visit with this sparkling personality.

Ms. Underwood's humorously told tale is captured on two page spreads that allow Ms. Rueda to interpret (in ink and colored pencil) the Cat's nonverbal gestures to our great delight. So much can be shown in her imaginative renderings for the tale being told. It is a flawless collaboration!



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