Poor little gray bunny. He’s the only one that does any work around the barn. From weaving the baskets to baking the cupcakes to caring for the flowers, the little gray bunny does it all. He gets no help from the turtle, who likes to hide all day long. The duck won’t leave the tub, pool, or wherever there is water. And forget about the lamb—all she wants to do is eat hay! When the little gray bunny finds a big pile of eggs ready for dyeing and hiding, his lazy friends refuse to help. But when it comes time for ...
Poor little gray bunny. He’s the only one that does any work around the barn. From weaving the baskets to baking the cupcakes to caring for the flowers, the little gray bunny does it all. He gets no help from the turtle, who likes to hide all day long. The duck won’t leave the tub, pool, or wherever there is water. And forget about the lamb—all she wants to do is eat hay! When the little gray bunny finds a big pile of eggs ready for dyeing and hiding, his lazy friends refuse to help. But when it comes time for the Easter egg hunt, the turtle, duck, and lamb can’t wait to join in and get a prize. But the little gray bunny has a trick up his sleeve—and the prize is not what his friends expect. This retelling of "The Little Red Hen" is a wonderful companion to Barbara Barbieri McGrath’s earlier books, THE LITTLE RED ELF and THE LITTLE GREEN WITCH. Violet Kim’s bright and kid-friendly illustrations add to the humor of this timeless and classic story.
The Little Red Hen folktale gets an Easter makeover in this story of a rabbit whose friends aren’t interested in helping collect, boil, decorate, and hide Easter eggs. McGrath (who offered a different holiday twist on this story in The Little Red Elf) deviates from the traditional repeated “Not I” responses, as the lamb, turtle, and duck snarkily refuse the rabbit’s attempts to engage them (“Do you even know me?” says the duck, lounging in its bathtub). Kim’s (Earth Day, Birthday!) T-shirt-wearing, turnip-headed hero exudes a sense of both earnestness and mischief, the latter surfacing in the wry “treats” he gives his not-so-helpful friends in the end—a trio of hyperactive, newly-hatched little red hens. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)
- Heather Christensen
The Little Red Hen gets an Easter treatment in this fun retelling. The little gray bunny lives with a hungry lamb, a hide-and-seek obsessed turtle, and a water loving duck. Of course, the bunny gets stuck with all of the spring themed chores on their farm while the other three play. When the hens shift into overdrive and produce hundreds of eggs, it is up to the little gray bunny to boil, dye, and then hide them in the hay meadow. But, as with his predecessor, the bunny gets the last laugh when he takes all the jelly beans and cupcakes for himself and leaves a special surprise for his friends—a few cracked eggs ready to hatch some cute—but very energetic—chicks. While following fairly closely to the original, McGrath's text has both funny and "punny" moments that will bring giggles to young readers, and the ending is sure to appeal to their sense of justice. Kim's characters are full of expression, from greed to exasperation, and the bright springtime colors of the watercolor, pen, and gouache illustrations will please storytime crowds. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In McGrath's third adaptation of "The Little Red Hen," the little gray bunny seeks help from the turtle, the duck, and the lamb as he prepares for Easter, to no avail. He works tirelessly to collect eggs, boil and dye them, and hide them in the meadow. As expected, his friends are more than willing to join in a hunt for the eggs and to share in some holiday treats. True to the original tale, the bunny has his revenge, supplying his friends with fertilized eggs instead of jelly beans and cupcakes, and they are shocked to find themselves surrounded by newly hatched chicks. The turtle, the duck, and the lamb are selfish and lazy, as expected, but they are also haughty. The illustrations are done in watercolor, pen, and gouache; they lack warmth, and the colors are harsh. This Easter tale has a clever twist, but it does not have the allure of McGrath's The Little Green Witch (2005) and The Little Red Elf (2009, both Charlesbridge).—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT
McGrath extends her series of holiday-themed retellings of "The Little Red Hen" with her third entry, this time focusing on Easter. On an old-fashioned farm, a gray bunny is getting ready for Easter in the barn where he lives with his three friends: a lamb, a turtle and a duck. The bunny is resourceful and industrious, like his Little Red Hen counterpart, but the three friends are predictably lazy and self-involved. The lamb focuses on finding more hay, the turtle hides and plays peekaboo, and the duck searches for any sort of water for swimming. The text follows the familiar structure of the traditional tale, with lots of humor woven in, including silly responses from the turtle and clever rejoinders from the bunny. ("These creatures have no artistic imagination.") Cartoon-style illustrations in watercolor, pen and gouache add zing with a bright palette of springtime colors and an individual personality for each character. The lazy friends get their comeuppance just as in the original story, when the bunny enjoys the Easter goodies and the friends are stuck with just-hatched, mischievous chicks instead of cupcakes and jelly beans. An amusing tale, especially for children already familiar with the original folk tale. (Picture book. 3-6)
Barbara Barbieri McGrath was a nursery school teacher before she dedicated herself to writing children's books full time. She is the author of THE LITTLE RED ELF, THE LITTLE GREEN WITCH, and many bestselling math concept books. Barbara lives in Natick, Massachussetts.