Rating: 5 stars
“Here Comes the Easter Cat” by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda is an adorable and extremely clever book about a cat who longs to be the Easter Bunny. He is jealous because everyone loves the Easter Bunny.
So the cat explains to the narrator, through facial expressions and a series of signs (the cat doesn’t talk), that he can wear cute clothing and drive a motorcycle (so he can beat the Easter Bunny who gets around by hopping). However, once the cat leaves for his “Easter Cat” journey, he quickly the returns. He needs a nap.
“A nap?! You’ve already taken five naps today,” says the narrator. The cat proudly shows a sign with a picture of seven cats napping. “You’ve taken SEVEN? Then you can’t possibly be tired!” The narrator goes on to say that the Easter Bunny doesn’t get to take any naps — at all. Cat is horrified at the thought.
What cat decides to do when the Easter Bunny shows up with an egg for him is precious. Readers will be “oohing” and “ahhing” till the last page. And, of course, there is a slight twist at the end.
The illustrations look like pen and ink with some colored pencil. They are very spare, very cartoonish, but very effective. There is a lot of white space, and one double-page spread with just the word “Cat?” on it. In spite of the simplicity of the drawings, the emotions of the cat and the Easter Bunny come through loud and clear.
In spite of the primary level of the picture book, there is plenty of character change in the cat. This book would be a great tool for primary teachers to introduce the idea of character change in books. It beautifully illustrates how characters change and grow.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Candlewick Press for review purposes.