The Great Easter Egg Hunt

Magic Cat. (Brown Bear Wood). Jan. 2024. 12p. Board $9.99. ISBN 9781419767791.
PreS-K–An Easter installment in the sprouting “Brown Bear Wood’’ series, this rhyming, look-and-find board book will ready toddlers for the more intricate forestscapes characteristic of the series. Lively, cozy woodland scenes invite readers to spot 100 Easter eggs hidden across five spreads of 20 eggs each. Readers will come for the egg hunt, but stay to delight in the whimsical details woven through Hartas’s gentle, but spirited, illustrations. Some of the forest’s smallest residents can be seen celebrating a birthday party at the base of a grand tree teeming with forest critters, not unlike a bustling city apartment building. In a nearby meadow, spotted fawns treat early spring flowers to showers from dainty watering cans. On a tree stump, a pair of rabbits and a bird weave daisy chains trailing down to a brown bear reclining with a bowl of juicy strawberries. The lives of the animals harmoniously intertwine—only an owl interested in snoozing is bothered by the daytime liveliness of the woods. While the title implies an Easter theme, the text does not mention the holiday, aside from inviting readers to visually collect the scattered pastel patterned eggs. The theme of spring prevails, as the forest critters scamper about, savoring simple joys of the season.
VERDICT A charming look-and-find board book filled with forest fantasy and a dash of Easter whimsy.

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