The Easter Bunny’s Helpers by Anne Mangan

Published: 1st March 2013Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 HarperCollins Australia
Illustrator: Tamsin Ainslie
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

From the author of TRUE BLUE SANTA and THE GREATEST MOTHER’S DAY OF ALL, comes a delightful Australian book for Easter.

The Easter Bunny needs help delivering the Easter eggs this year and who better to help him than some Australian animals?

This story puts an Australian touch to Easter and highlights all the wonderful things you can do during Easter time. The Easter Bunny is looking for helpers and each of the Australian animals do their best to try and impress.

The narrative is told in basic rhyme, easy to pick up the rhythm and keep it going, even if you pause to look at the fantastic illustrations from Ainslie. It is a bit wordy but nothing too complicated. I think the rhyme might have benefited from better formatting because some lines felt a bit long.

Each animal uses their skills to help the bunny. I found it so adorable than both koala and kangaroo use their pouches to carry eggs. It is expected of a kangaroo in pop culture but I was impressed Ainslie included koala’s as well.

The illustrations are lovely oil paintings, cute representations of our national animals. There is a lot of detail in the scenes but it’s also focused enough on the story that there are no extra, unnecessary distractions.

The story is sweet and the wonderful message about helping out is clear but not openly directed to the reader. It’s a cute book for the holiday with a great Australian focus that can show off our unique wildlife.

You can purchase The Easter Bunny’s Helpers via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

I Wanted a Giant Chocolate Egg but all I Got Was this Stupid Book by Merv Lamington

Published: February 2018Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Affirm Press
Illustrator: Makoto Koji
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

I wanted a giant chocolate egg but all I got was this stupid book. You too? I know just who’s to blame for this outrage. Come on, let’s go find the Easter Bunny…

Join an Easter egg hunt of a different kind in this journey from disappointment to elation. The perfect (non-edible*) gift for any kid who’s ever felt that the Easter Bunny could have done better.

*Note: this book is not made of chocolate. Sorry.

With an author named Merv Lamington I don’t know how much more Australian he could be. The story is good, funny, interactive, and a decent plot. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it was fun. It would certainly entertain children with the humour and antics, not to mention the hunt for the Easter Bunny.

The narrator addresses the reader originally, or some off page character who provides hints and clues for the search for the elusive bunny. The hunt then starts all over town looking at clues the Easter bunny has left behind, running into friends who are enjoying their chocolate eggs to varying degrees of success.

I enjoyed the inception Koji creates with his book within a book, the illustrations matching their larger counterparts. The colours are vibrant and the focus is on the key characters, the background getting generic attention if any. The thick bold outlines and humorous expressions bring the story to life and give the narrative an additional layer beyond childish complaints.

This is the ideal book for kids who are unable to have chocolate or who didn’t get any Easter eggs and feel hard done by. It also helps explain rules about chocolate and dogs and with a few punny jokes in there you can’t help but laugh at.

You can purchase I Wanted a Giant Chocolate Egg but all I Got Was this Stupid Book via the following

Booktopia | Dymocks | Fishpond

Happy Easter!

Easter FB

The Easter bunny has snuck into our homes overnight and delivered some chocolate goodies to everyone. I do like that that the Easter bunny, unlike Santa, isn’t judgemental about how good you’ve been this year and whether you deserve any eggs. That’s quite nice. I’ve gotten a nice little haul which was a surprise, which will help sustain my Easter celebrations for a while. I hope your Easter long weekends are going well and will continue to go well. I’m spending my time relaxing with a few books this weekend, I’m reading Time and Time Again by Ben Elton, I’ve also recently started Founding Father by J. Kenneth Metz. I hope you have a great weekend, whatever and however you may be celebrating, and read something spectacular!

Easter

Happy Easter!

EasterA very happy Easter to you all! I hope the Easter bunny was good to you this year and if you were lucky enough to also get a long weekend, then I hope you enjoyed a nice break. I spent my long weekend relaxing and surprise, surprise, some reading! Which while not that much of a stray from my usual routine (but usually with less relaxing), it was still very nice. Easter Sunday was spent eating too much chocolate which resulted in me feeling slightly ill but as my mother said, “I don’t think it’s Easter without making yourself sick on chocolate” so that makes it ok. Having been going non-stop for months it felt very strange doing almost nothing, even if it was only three days and it made me feel like I hadn’t done anything in weeks which was quite disorientating. I had to remind myself that it had only been three days and the world was not going to come to an end. Today I started busying myself again so while still in long weekend mode I was trying not to get too complacent and fall behind again.

In honour of the Easter long weekend, I thought I would quickly provide you with some Easter Fun Facts because who doesn’t love a good fun fact?

Easter Fun Fact #1

While the bunny was used as early as the 1500s in Germany when discussing Easter, the first mention of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs for Easter was in a book by Georg Frankck von Frankenau in 1680. The book was called “De ovis paschalibus” (About Easter Eggs) and refers to the tradition of bringing eggs to children.

Easter Fun Fact #2

The word Easter dates back to early England and is thought to relate to Ēostre, Pagan goddess of spring and fertility.

Easter Fun Fact #3

The reason the Easter date always changes is because it’s based on the lunar calendar and the position of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon following March 21st. Which sounds like a very complicated way to deal with things.

Easter Fun Fact #4

The first Easter egg was made in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol. Which you can read more about in my Easter post from last year.

Easter Fun Fact #5

The tradition of giving eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, for whom the egg was a symbol of life.

So there you go, some nice things you may not have realised about Easter. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and managed not to get any chocolate on your books!

Easter, Fun Facts, and Chocolate

Easter

Ah Easter. The day of bunnies, chocolate, and refined restraint on eating the entire day’s loot in one sitting. I know for some Easter is a religious weekend but for me it is about chocolate, four day weekends, and…well there isn’t much else. This is the best time of year because this is the only time that the rare and highly sought after Red Tulip chocolate emerges from its hibernation. The chocolate that only is seen around Easter, but when it comes out it will whip Cadbury’s butt any day. My affection for Red Tulip aside, I am not saying Cadbury is bad, but you can get that in many forms all year round, the Red Tulip experience is a once a year delight. Yes, perhaps its rarity makes it seem more delicious than it is…oh wait, my mistake, that’s completely wrong, it’s a godsend. And not those weird Ferrero Rocher ads where those weird nutty chocolate things fell from the gods, no, Red Tulip rabbits of various sizes with pink and blue waistcoats and bow ties should be falling from the sky not those.

Eggs have always been used for Easter because they represent rebirth and the beginning of life. Something which comes with a lot of images of hatched baby chickens and pastel colours as well. The earliest Easter eggs were not the chocolate kind though. They used to just be painted chicken or duck eggs that were dyed various colours with vegetable dye and charcoal. I recall painting a few blown eggs as a kid, though it was more a paintbrush and random squiggles around it with the odd dot or two. I may have only done it once or twice, I wasn’t overly  fussed about it, and what were you supposed to do with them when you’re done? Display them somewhere? I suppose giving them as gifts as was traditional but that didn’t happen.

Away from the painted eggs, the very first chocolate Easter egg was created by the Victorians in Bristol, England in 1873. It was made by a company called Fry, Vaughan & Co. and instead of being the delicious smooth chocolate we have today, it was bitter dark chocolate with a grainy texture. They also most likely would have been decorated by hand with marzipan and given as gifts by the rich. Much too fancy I think, though those Victorians were an extravagant bunch with their chocolate tastes.  

These were the only chocolate eggs until Cadbury tried to make their own Easter egg a couple years later. Cadbury had been making solid eggs since 1842 but were unable to make finer hollow eggs. Cadbury’s first Easter eggs in 1875 were made of dark chocolate with a plain smooth surface and were filled with sugared almonds, but compared with Fry’s it wasn’t as successful. It wasn’t until the launch of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate in 1905 that their Easter egg sales improved, and improved tremendously. It was so popular it not only increased the sale of Easter eggs but it also made them a seasonal best seller, something that remains true today. Cadbury merged with Fry’s, Vaughan & Co. in 1919 but still couldn’t produce the quality eggs Fry’s was making. May I say, Cadbury also bought out Red Tulip, along with other companies, in the 80s when they were trying to conquer Australia. Very conquery Cadbury when it comes to other companies and chocolate, very conquery indeed.

So, now you know. While you are all eating delicious chocky eggs, bunnies, bilbys, chickens, or any other chocolate styled thing today you can think that it all started with one Bristol company that brought the Easter egg to the Victorians and subsequently the rest of the world.

Have a wonderful Easter, try not to get melted chocolate on your books, and have a great day!

 

 

 

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