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The Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes

Title: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

Author: Du Bose Heyward

Illustrator: Marjorie Flack

Age Group: 3-8

Synopsis: A small country bunny thinks her old dream as one of the five Easter bunnies is gone but gets a second chance to prove herself, to herself.


The Low Down:

I remember reading this in first grade. I was instantly enchanted by this small little bunny who was brave and kind and wise. Now as an adult and mother I find I’m even more amazed and a bit skeptical of her parenting abilities. Even so the story is something that speaks to me. It focuses on strength, perseverance, and kindness. Things that every good story should have and examples that Bug can never have to many of. Celebrating a copyright dating over 70 years, this is truly a classic.

If you’ve not read The Country Bunny it begins with a small girl bunny announcing her intention to become one of the five Easter bunnies. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this bunny and when she says this the other bunnies laugh and taunt her. Years later she marries and has 21 children (and I say one is a handful!). She’s quite certain that her aspirations will now never be fulfilled. However, she enjoys motherhood and raises her children to be industrious, kind, and conscientious. It’s then that one of the five Easter bunnies retires and the Country Bunny and her children go to see the try outs for the vacant position. As you can probably guess the wise Grandfather Rabbit chooses the country bunny not only because she is swift (you’d have to be to catch 21 children) but also kind and wise. When Easter arrives Country Bunny is given the most difficult assignment and though she’s tired from the nights events she attempts to scale a high peak in order to deliver an Easter egg to a sick boy. When she falls in her attempt she’s visited by the Grandfather Rabbit who says that because she is not only swift, kind, and wise but also brave she will be the golden shoe Easter bunny and gives her magic shoes which help her complete the task.

Any mother who finds herself questioning her ability to be anything other than a mother can relate to this tale. And while being a mother is not only a tremendous job but also an honor we owe it to ourselves never to lose sight of who we are ourselves. One day our children will grow and if our entire identity focuses on them we’ll be left feeling very lonely indeed or worse holding our children back from their own lives. So while the child in me adores the piles of Easter eggs and the idea of five Easter bunnies racing through the night, the adult smiles and reminds myself that making sure my identity doesn’t revolve around others is wise. Remembering to let my child grow to be independent, industrious, and conscientious is kind. And being able to continue pursuing my own goals is brave. However, my average mile per hour on the elliptical reminds me to work on the swift part.


Story Tips:

  1. This is a treasure to pull out every year and if you can swing it, act it out with your little ones. This is especially important on the pages discussing the completion of chores.
  2. If you want to make your own bunny garland (like the one pictured) just grab some paint-sample cards at your local hardware store, some cotton balls, a ribbon, and your trusty glue gun.
    1. Cut the bunnies out of the paint sample cards (you could also use cardstock) and hot glue them to the ribbon.
    2. Then cut the cotton balls into smaller pieces. Don’t worry it they’re not perfectly round.
    3. Use regular glue to attach the tails. Bug loved helping with this and talked to each bunny as he affixed their tail. It reminded me of a hairdresser. Adorable!
    4. Let dry for a few hours and TADA!

I need more!

Du Bose Heyward never wrote any other children’s books but did write a wide range of plays and novels. His play Porgy was a large success nut I must admit I never heard of it.

I know Marjorie Flack from her work with Ping but she also did a sweet series about a little Scottish terrier named Angus.


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