That mischievous handful known as Betty Bunny is back for her fifth exploration of the boundaries of acceptable bunny behavior.
In her previous escapades, Betty learned lessons in patience, accepting limits, honesty and persistence. These behaviors all come into play in this latest story when Betty attends an Easter egg hunt with her family. Her three older siblings help Betty find lots of eggs to put in her huge Easter basket, but Betty is dissatisfied with her impressive egg-gathering results because she didn’t actually find the eggs herself. She starts over and finds just three eggs on her own, taking pride in her solo accomplishment. This praiseworthy attitude is totally upended by the unfortunate conclusion, in which Betty gets into her mother’s purse and is caught taking money to buy an even bigger Easter basket. Betty’s rationalization for stealing is to repeat her parents’ earlier encouragement during the egg hunt: “It means so much more if I find it myself.” Funny, yes, but distressing too, as this is the end of the story. This latest caper may be just a bit too sassy for some adults, though others may consider it an acceptable teaching point. Betty and her family and friends are visually as charming as ever in cleverly detailed watercolor illustrations that bring the anthropomorphic rabbits to life.
This story’s theme of self-reliance fails to adequately address keeping one’s hand out of purses (and pockets) that belong to others. (Picture book. 3-6)