Piggy Bunny By Rachel Vail April 4, 2012
Not too late for the Easter Basket on Sunday….Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail is sweet and funny and really cute. This story has been told before, but don’t let that stop you from adding it to your Easter read-aloud list. Liam, who is a piglet, wants to be an Easter Bunny. He tries to get all of the Easter Bunny-like characteristics down. “He tried to practice hopping. He tried to enjoy salad. And he tried to deliver eggs.” Liam is an all-round awesome little guy – piglet or bunny!
After some well-meaning, but discouraging, words from his family and friends, Liam is sad. In the book’s most heart-wrenching scene, Liam says “This is the the kind of problem that is called heartbreaking.” But…Liam gets some help from his grandma who, like any good 21st century grandparent, knows how to find an Easter bunny suit online. You can guess how the books ends – happily of course.
I love Piggy Bunny. The message of being true to yourself is always a good one to hear and this book takes a fresh and fun approach. It would be even sweeter if you read it while enjoying a chocolate bunny!
Get Ready for Easter Fun with Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail!
Vail, Rachel. Piggy Bunny. Illustrations by Jeremy Tankard. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2012. Ages 2 and up.
Just in time for Easter comes Rachel Vail's funny and whimsical Piggy Bunny!
I have to admit it: In my pre-reading, I found the premise of this book a little silly. Liam the piglet didn't want to be a pig when he grew up. Instead, he wanted to be the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny?! But what an adult will find silly and hard to believe, a preschooler will find raucously funny, as evidenced in my five year-old, who started to bounce and laugh uncontrollably. Liam is one of those characters that we readers of picture books adore: he's a little out-of-sorts. He wants to do his own thing in a world where everybody pressures him to conform. He's the one who marches to the tune of his own music. And that is something with which some children not only resonate, but need to hear more about.
Liam wants to be the Easter Bunny so bad that he practices hopping, enjoying salad (not easy for a pig!), and delivering eggs. He falls down, finds salad unappealing, and drops his eggs. To their credit,Liam's parents say the right things: "You are perfect just exactly the way you are," but their actions tell him: be just like everybody else. Pigs can't be Easter Bunnies. When Liam, heartbroken, wonders: what if they were right?" and begins to lose faith, his parents step in and order a bunny suit off the internet. (That last detail was rather shocking. Sure, we live in a world where we order costumes ready-made, but I suppose in the world of picture books, one still expects a kindly granny to sew one up in a jiffy.) Once the costume arrives, Liam puts it on, and looks in the mirror: "looking back at him, was Liam, the Easter Bunny."
I have to say that the illustrations where Liam imagines himself to be the Easter Bunny are the funniest. Not only that, they show us the power of a young person's imagination to believe fully that they can be anything. By the end of the book, Liam is a happy Easter Bunny, and "everybody believed in him." It's a great message to send to parents and children about just being yourself. When children have parents and adults to believe, they really can do anything.