The Bad Easter Bunny by Isabel Atherton

The Bad Easter Bunny by Isabel Atherton
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Childrens, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Holiday, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Every spring the Easter Bunny frolics through every neighbourhood in every city to hand out candy and toys to children. The problem is he feels a total lack of gratitude from them. He’s getting sadder and sadder, and in turn his once bright-pink fur has gone a depressing shade of blue. His fur really does reflect how he is feeling inside. When a group of highly excitable children knock him to the ground, he sees all of the colors of the rainbow and settles on a hopping red color. The Easter Bunny is furious! He’s tired of being taken for granted and has decided to become the Bad Easter Bunny.

He sets about smashing toys, eating all the candy, and making a big mess of the neighborhood. But a simple “thank you” from one little girl on a scooter makes the Bad Easter Bunny regret his actions. A small hug and sharing a piece of candy makes the Easter Bunny turn a happy pink, and he promises to be bad no more. In this fun and quirky children’s book, Stéphanie Röhr’s magical illustrations show how one good bunny turned very bad–and how important gratitude can be.

The rules apply to everyone, even rabbits.

It was interesting to see what happened after the Easter Bunny showed everyone how angry he was with them. There was so much empathy in this tale and the response to him in general. It wasn’t something I was expecting to find at all, so I loved stumbling across it after the first scene had ended. Sometimes there is a lot of frustration and pain behind even the biggest and most dramatic displays of emotion.

One of the biggest conflicts of this story wasn’t dealt with fully. Yes, the Easter Bunny had a very important lesson to learn about controlling his anger, but the message about admitting one’s faults would have been even stronger if the kids had been expected to apologize for their behavior as well. After seeing how ungrateful they were for their Easter presents, I was expecting them to spend much more time dealing with this bad behavior than they did.

With that being said, I did appreciate the things the narrator had to say about how every person and rabbit in the world can only ever control how they behave. Sometimes others do infuriating things, but it’s always important to keep following the rules no matter what everyone else is or isn’t doing. This can be a tough lesson for adults to learn, much less young children. Teaching it to preschoolers is a very smart idea, and I liked the way the author went about showing why everyone should worry about their own behavior before paying attention to anything else.

I’d recommend The Bad Easter Bunny to anyone who is in the mood for something thought provoking.

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