Author/Illustrator: Elys Dolan
Age Group: 3-8
Synopsis: Mr Bunny runs his chocolate egg producing factory with an iron fist but when he pushes the hens that work for him too far he finds a strike on his hands.
The Low Down:
Almost every story has some sort of character development. I use the word some because for months my son was in love with a book of clipart pictures of vehicles and I’m saying that doesn’t count. However, Elys Dolan seems to go above and beyond with this fabulously in depth and hilarious Easter Bunny story. Dolan goes into such amazing detail with not only the characters but the settings in which they work. It gives her story extra zing and ensures that you’ll have a lovely Easter laugh.
Mr. Bunny’s Chocolate Factory begins with a question: “How do you think Chocolate Eggs are made?” I was way off. Apparently it all starts with Mr. Bunny’s secret chocolate recipe, which is formed into chocolate bars. These are eaten by hens who then lay a multitude of chocolate eggs which are wrapped and then inspected by a lab coat-wearing unicorn for quality control. Mr. Bunny throws a wrench into this whole process by getting greedy. As he pushes the hens to eat more chocolate and produce more eggs, the entire system is strained. Not only are the pipes ready to burst but the sleep-deprived chickens are forced to go on strike. Mr Bunny is sure he can run it on his own along with the unicorn, Edgar, but eventually even Edgar refuse to put up with his tyrannical ways. It all finally goes too far, the system explodes and Mr. Bunny finds himself drowning in chocolate (literally). He’s saved but must promise to turn things around which he does, with flair in a Steve Jobs-esqe way.
Dolan makes this all accessible to a great range of kids by allowing additional story telling to take place on each page. She does this through sub-plots throughout the book that are focused by humorous illustrations. One example is the missing hen, named Debbie. The character is introduced early on but quickly lost somewhere in the factory. It becomes a small running joke that brings Debbie back into the reader’s vision again and again and allows for older readers to share a small smile with each other. The pictures contain typical spring colors, bright pinks, purples, and yellows but this story is anything but a typical, putting a new twist on a piece of a beloved holiday.
- Keep an eye on your favorite chickens and use the different sub-plots to springboard any topic you’d like to discuss with your little ones.
I need more!
Elys Dolan has a few great looking stories. I’m definitely looking forward to check out Steven Seagull: Action Hero. For more details and to stay up to date on new books check out: http://www.elysdolan.com/
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