Easter Egg Tree 2014

Yes, it's one of my very rare Saturday posts.  I wanted to share this year's Easter egg tree!  The neighbors had a broken tree in their yard, sitting out by the curb.  We broke off a big branch and started from scratch.

I failed to make it to the store for any coloring kits, so we experimented with natural dyeing methods.  The red and pink eggs were dyed with a red beet that was going bad in the fridge.  (Oops.)  I had a golden beet, too, but it failed to yield any decent color.  You live you learn, right?  The yellow eggs were dyed with turmeric, and there's a cool-looking beige egg that was dyed with raspberry tea.  The green eggs were a cheat.  I really wanted some green or blue, but had nothing on hand to work with - except a little tube of neon green gel food coloring I managed to dig out of the cupboard.

On one side of the tree are our library Easter books.  We check The Egg Tree out every year.  Maybe next year the Easter Bunny will take a hint!  After all, it took years for that Bunny to add The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes to our collection...

We worked on this project yesterday.  In the middle of dying our eggs, we took a break to eat the hot cross buns we made over the course of the day.  They were YUMMY!  I used this recipe, but I doubled the amount of spices.  I don't think you can ever use too much cardamom.

We are going to have an Easter egg hunt at my sister's house soon.  The weather is supposed to be stormy tomorrow, and we wanted to have a family hunt for our four girls.  Tomorrow morning, we'll head to church for the big church egg hunt and Easter services.  The girls have begged me to make quiche for lunch tomorrow.  We are certain to be egged-out by Sunday night!

Happy Easter Weekend!

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Adrienne Adams Easter Books

Good Friday will end in a little over an hour and a half, according to the clock here in Kansas.  We made hot cross buns and hollowed out some eggs, which we dyed and hung on a big branch.  Our Easter egg tree continues!  I will share pictures this weekend, but first, I have two more vintage books to share today, both illustrated by Adrienne Adams.

The Easter Bunny That Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich
illustrated by Adrienne Adams.  Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company, Inc., 1957.
A revised edition with illustrations by Donald Saaf was published by HarperCollins in 2002.

Oh, this book is cute.  The whole premise is amusing:  the poor Easter Bunny oversleeps and doesn't wake up until May. He decides to deliver his eggs anyway, but no one wants the poor bunny's eggs.  It's Mother's Day!

He realizes the next holiday is the 4th of July, so he rushes home and repaints the eggs red, white, and blue. We next see him marching in an Independence Day parade.  Officials stop the parade. He is told his eggs are not wanted for the 4th of July.  He tries to give his eggs away as treats for Halloween, but he's informed that eggs are not treats.  Winter comes, and a fierce wind blows him to Santa's house at the North Pole.  Santa puts him to work, first helping him paint toys, then helping to deliver the toys on Christmas Eve.  Before he leaves the North Pole, Santa gives the Easter Bunny his Christmas present:  an alarm clock!

Sure enough, the Easter Bunny is right on time the following spring.  When he pays a visit to the first house, the baby at the beginning has grown into a toddler - a very sweet touch.

I love Adrienne Adams's art so much, so I was a bit miffed to see that the copy that is in print today has different artwork.  I think I want to check it out, though.  I love Donald Saaf's work with Dan Zanes...

And on to the next book, featuring Adams's little rabbit family, The Abbotts.

The Easter Egg Artists by Adrienne Adams.  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.
The Abbotts are amazing painters of Easter eggs, among other things.  A huge order has been placed, 100 dozen eggs to be delivered in January, to paint and sell by Easter.  Mr. and Mrs. Abbott's son, Orson, wants to be a painter and thinks he will help paint the eggs, too.

Before that time comes, however, there is a vacation to take!  First, they need to paint their car - or at least, the rusty spots.  Orson has a clever idea about that, and together, he and his father ready the car.  Their car and trailer catches the fancy of their fellow vacationers, who offer the Abbotts more painting jobs.

They paint the outside of a house, which catches the eye of a pilot.  Orson understood just how to paint the pilot's airplane.  When the family is asked to decorate the bridge over the river for the County Fair, Orson volunteers to do it.  He finishes just in time to help with the Easter eggs.

Orson loves decorating the Easter eggs.  He invents comic Easter eggs, and everyone wants to buy them!

Finally, all the orders are filled, and the only eggs left belong to the Abbotts themselves.  They hide them in the yard the night before Easter...

Father and Mother Abbott are too tired the next morning, but Orson climbs a tree to watch the youngsters hunt the eggs.  His parents look out the window just once.

Orson continues his painting.  Father and Mother Abbott seems pretty content to lie back and relax.

Relaxing sounds lovely, but we have a busy weekend planned!  Happy Easter Weekend, dear friends!

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Humbug Rabbit

Humbug Rabbit by Lorna Balian.
Abingdon Press, 1974.
Reprint edition available from Star Bright Books, here.

Here's a vintage Easter cutie from the year Mr. B was born!  Apparently, Lorna Balian wrote and illustrated several "humbug" holiday titles.  This is the first I've read, and it makes me smile!

There are two stories happening simultaneously in this book.  Above ground, we meet Granny, Gracie the chicken, Otto the rooster, and Barnaby, "a most devlish cat."

Underground, we meet the Rabbit family.  As the adult rabbits finish their spring cleaning, a mouse tells the little rabbits all about Easter.  Their conclusion?  Father Rabbit must be the Easter Bunny!

Above ground, Granny invites her grandchildren to the house for an Easter egg hunt, while below ground, the child bunnies pester Father, asking when he's going to start laying Easter eggs.  It seems Easter eggs might not be coming, however.  Gracie the hen isn't laying eggs, and Father Rabbit yells at his bunnies, "There is no Easter Bunny!  And rabbits do not lay eggs!"

One morning, Granny finds Gracie's eggs!  Barnaby the cat was hiding them.  As she sets about painting them, the little bunnies below make a nice carrot cake, and tell their mother how they plan to leave cookies and carrot juice out on the table on Easter Eve for their father, who they are sure must be the Easter Bunny.

Granny hides the eggs the night before Easter, but Barnaby the cat pushes all the painted eggs down into the rabbit holes.

Easter morning comes, and Granny's grandchildren look for the eggs, while below ground, the bunnies are super-excited to find them!  They were right - their father must be the Easter Bunny!

Eggs are hatching chicks in the rabbit burrow.  Granny and her grandchildren can't find any eggs.  It's a very mixed-up Easter!  Soon, however, the bunnies and chicks pop out of the holes, making a very happy Easter for Granny and her little ones.

And the little bunnies are very proud of their Easter Bunny father.  The end of the book reads:
It is the end of a lovely Easter Day.  Mother Rabbit and her children have covered their muddy floor with the colored egg shells, and it looks just lovely.  Father Rabbit is wondering if he really is the EASTER BUNNY.  'I told you so!' says the mouse.

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Little Vintage Easter Treasures from the Library

Oh, how I love the library!  I love searching Polaris late at night, looking for old treasures buried at some branch or other.  Today I have two adorable vintage Easter books, written by two wonderful authors, Tasha Tudor and Charlotte Zolotow.

A Tale for Easter by Tasha Tudor.  
Henry Z. Walck, 1941.
(Re-issued by Simon & Schuster in multiple formats - see here.)

I always think of Tasha Tudor at Christmastime, or even in autumn.  All those pictures of her in her handwoven and handknitted clothes, so cozy.  But Tasha Tudor and Easter?  Even more perfect.  This sweet book begins, "You can never tell what might happen on Easter.  You're not always sure when it is coming, even though you go to Sunday School."  We turn the page to learn, "You can guess it is near when Mama makes you stand still while she fits a new dress on you."  Sigh.  How I regret that I never learned to sew properly!  I want to live in a Tasha Tudor book.  On the next page:  "But it is only when Good Friday comes, and you have Hot Cross Buns for tea, that you know for certain Easter will be the day after tomorrow."  Okay, we can do Hot Cross Buns.  The girls are out of school for inservice this Good Friday...

The book then ventures into Dreamland.  "If you have been very good the whole year through, the night before Easter you will dream the loveliest dreams."

And she isn't kidding.  In her dreams, you ride on the back of a beautiful fawn, who shows you rabbits, sweet little mice, adorable lambs, and Easter ducklings.  Then the fawn takes you flying, because this is the most beautiful Dreamland ever.

When we wake up, we may have left Dreamland, but we're still in the world of Tasha Tudor, where Easter morning brings colored eggs "in your shoes or in your best bonnet;" a basket of ducklings "beside your bowl of porridge;" or a bunny "in Grandma's rocking chair."

Sigh.  I want to live in a Tasha Tudor book, if only for one day.

Our next book was written by author and editor extraordinaire Charlotte Zolotow, who passed away late last year.  The beautiful spring-hued illustrations are by Betty Peterson.  I tried to find information about Betty Peterson, but this book seems to be the only one I could find.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has republished the book with all-new illustrations by Helen Craig, of Angelina Ballerina fame.  I love Angelina, but I think I prefer the original Bunny Who Found Easter.

The Bunny Who Found Easter by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Betty Peterson.
Parnassus Press / Houghton Mifflin Company, 1959.
You can find used copies of this version at Amazon.
HMH Books has a current edition, with illustrations by Helen Craig - see here.

A little bunny wakes up from a long nap, and longs to play with other bunnies.  He asks the owl in the elm tree where he might find some.  The owl tells him, "Why there always rabbits at Easter."  The bunny doesn't know what Easter is, and the owl falls asleep without telling him.  The bunny thinks Easter must be a place, so he sets off - headed east - to find it.  He finds a pool of trout and a field of daisies.  He gets caught in a summer storm.  He finds mountain laurel, wet from the rain.  Nowhere does he find another rabbit, though.  Sadly, he crunches an apple as the air starts to smell of autumn.  One day, the snow begins to fall.  He sees other animals preparing for winter, but still no rabbits.  The lonely rabbit curls up inside a hollow tree to sleep.

When the bunny wakes up, spring has arrived!  He begins hopping about, ready to resume his search for Easter.  He comes across paw prints - familiar paw prints, much like his.  He follows the paw prints until he finds another white bunny, bright-eyed and white, just like him.  He forgets all about his search for Easter.  All he wanted was another rabbit for company.

The two rabbits are very happy together, and as you see in the picture below, they start a whole family of rabbits.  The old owl has the last word.  "Aha!  Didn't I tell you?  At Eastertime there are always rabbits."

In the end, the book isn't so much about Easter, but about spring and the renewal of nature.  The book ends with the following:
The bunny felt his little bunnies around him and the earth blooming beyond them, and all things growing.  And he understood at last that Easter was not a place after all, but a time when everything lovely begins once again.
I will have more vintage Easter goodies to share tomorrow! 

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The World in the Candy Egg

The World in the Candy Egg by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Inc., 1967.

Easter is less than a week away.  A Holy Week away, to be exact.  While the week leading up to Easter is more solemn, I wanted to devote a few days to some books I plan on breaking out on Sunday!

First, I have a delicate, vintage copy of The World in the Candy Egg by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by one of my very favorite illustrators, Roger Duvoisin.  I first saw this book on Once Upon A Bookshelf and knew we needed our own copy.

Mine is a forlorn library discard, complete with stamps dated between 1968 and 1973.  This is the cloth cover under the jacket.

The premise is simple.  There is a candy egg in a toy shop, and inside the egg is a magical world.  Each animal and a doll take their turns peeking inside, but the world of the egg belongs to a little girl.

And let's show a little love for the endpapers, shall we?

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Spring Weekend

And how was your weekend?  Here in south-central Kansas, our weekend was lovely.  Friday was warm and sunny, albeit a bit windy.  We headed straight to a big old park right in the Riverside neighborhood after school.

The city replaced all the cool old playground equipment at all the parks.  This poor, closed-up, slideless rocket is all that remains, a ghost of fun and scary playtimes past.

Saturday morning, Little Sis and I drove back to Riverside, where we met her Daisy Scout troop at Botanica.  Everything was in beautiful bloom, maybe even more so than last week.

After we ate lunch at home, we headed back to Riverside to visit the Keeper of the Plains.  Big Sis brought her camera, Little Sis brought her sketch pad.  We walked, we clicked, we drew.  We even witnessed a wedding, which was happening at the Keeper's feet as we were walking back across the bridge!

We were so overheated after our walk - it was almost 90 degrees outside! - that the girls came home and ran in the sprinkler for a while.  Sunday morning, we attended a lovely Palm Sunday service at church, then the girls ran home and played in the sprinkler again.  As they changed clothes for lunch, a storm rolled into town.  The temperature dropped.  We went to a birthday party.  The temperature dropped again.  We went to see a super live production of Into The Woods downtown.  It was getting very cold.

This was the view out my front door this morning.  Ah, Kansas.  If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.  It will change.

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