First disclaimer - I may be biased because this is the copy that I had growing up. There is a bit of nostalgia associated with it. It was published in 1939 and my copy has been tattered and taped and tattered some more.
But there really are some wonderful things in this story. The premise of the tale is that there are actually 5 Easter Bunnies - not one - and like the Supreme Court Justices they are selected for life. Kind, Wise, Old Grandfather Bunny selects them when an opening arises. The Easter Bunny appointments are based on a bunny's exceptional Kindness, Wisdom, and Swiftness.
Little Cottontail bunny dreams of being selected as one of the 5 but instead gets married and finds herself one day with 21 little cottontails to take care of. She is ridiculed by the elite bunnies and the fast Jacks who state "What did we tell you! Only a country rabbit would go and have all those babies. Now take care of them and leave Easter eggs to great big men bunnies like us". Well Mama Cottontail embraces her situation and not only takes care of her babies, but also teaches them valuable skills. She proves to be Kind, Wise and Swift as well as Clever. Spoiler alert - she is selected as the 5th Easter Bunny. Now many books would end here, but this one does not. You get a whole second story about her first Easter as the 5th Bunny and you get to see how amazing and brave she is and how well her little boy and girl bunnies do at home while she is away for the night.
I love this book for a few reasons
The heroine is from humble roots yet dreams big.
It shows that little girls can have dreams of things other than motherhood
and be successful outside the home.
She has a very well functioning large family.
It shows that motherhood is a beautiful vocation
for building the character, spirit, and soul of a woman.
It shows that 'having it all' at one time is not necessarily the only way to achieve all of your dreams. Rather through patience and opening yourself to be the best at whatever you are called to do at the time can prepare you for those dreams later in life.
The Mama Cottontail rocks at teaching her kids how to clean
and cook and garden etc but she also teaches them to respect her.
She is a brown country bunny and the elite bunnies are white.
Now for 1939, that is a clear but subtle race tone.
This brown bunny rocks.
I loved this book. It is long book but one to add to your Easter book collection. I hope your kids will love it as much as mine have! Easter Blessings to you all!