The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
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The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  6,191 ratings  ·  188 reviews
The country bunny is a lady, and she attains the exalted position of Easter Bunny in spite of her responsibilities as the mother of twenty-one children. That the story ends with success and a reward is, of course, as every child would wish.

Like so many other classic stories for children, this one grew from being told and retold to a child for many years. That is why Mr. He...more
Hardcover, 46 pages
Published 1967 by Houghton Mifflin Company (first published September 9th 1939)
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Antoine
This seems like sort of an old-fashioned book at first glance, definitely from before the mid-century explosion of children's picture books. But reading it again as an adult, I see how revolutionary it really is. The Country Bunny is told she can never be an Easter Bunny for a variety of reasons: [a] she is brown [b] she is rustic [c] she is a girl bunny [d] she is a mother. Although we are talking about bunnies here, undercurrents of race, class, and gender run through this book like freight tr...more
Nikki Spencer
I read this children's book many years ago, and although the plot confused me as a child I liked the book--you can't go wrong with bunnies!

Then, as an adult, I read it again.

The story FLOORED me.

As a mom of three very young, very active children (one of them special needs) I was slowly but surely disappearing. My "me" was lost, and I sorely missed it. Although I loved my kiddos and being a mother...had I missed my chance to be something? (Here we could go into the debate of how motherhood is th...more
Karla
Without a doubt this is one of my favorite books to read to children. DuBose Heyward is famous for many books but this is the only children's book he ever wrote. He made up the story at the request of his daughter and eventually had it published. The tale is set at Easter and the grandfather bunny is too tired and old to continue so a competition is held to select the new Easter Bunny. The Country Bunny has 21 little bunny children whom she has taught various household skills such as washing dis...more
Elizabeth
Self confidence, perseverance, a woman achiever who manages to mix work and kids and has great love for kids, and gorgeous pictures of beautiful Easter eggs. What more could you want from a book?!
Amanda
May 29, 2008 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: zeke
This is a very strange story about a determined little country bunny who manages to run a perfect household (mainly by using her excellent delegating skills), raise her 21 children to be well-behaved and accomplished, all while enjoying a great career as an Easter Bunny, delivering eggs to the boys and girls of the world.
We all wonder if it is truly possible to balance motherhood and career, and give equal weight to each. This bunny has done it and done it to perfection. And maybe when Zeke is...more
Lisa
I just re-read this classic, which was first copyrighted in 1939. Wow, how things have changed!

In today's market, this would've been considered too long and unfocused. Plus, I found that it had elements of sexism, subtle racism, and abuses of the child labor laws. Ha!

In the end, the problem was solved by the hand-of-God rather than the main character solving it for herself. If I had received this for critique, the poor author would've been chastised beyond belief.

But, the art is wonderful and co...more
Logan
Logan just loves this story and how can I not love a 1930's book that pits a little brown mama bunny against a bunch of arrogant male rabbits and ends with the mama bunny besting them all!? Way ahead of its time. It was not uncommon then to read of young, single women or girls doing tomboyish things, like Nancy Drew. But I don't recall anything where a busy mother manages to still get and hold down a demanding job. Very sweet pictures and an unusual take on the Easter Bunny myth. I never mind re...more
Anina
One of my favorite children's classics, an easter book. I am really drawn to the illustrations for some reason. The story is not remarkable but I have loved it since I was a kid, probably due to NOT being a kid who celebrated easter! While reading reviews on here, I notice some people say it adresses issues of race and class, which I have never thought about, but now that I am re reading it with that in mind, I certainly see what they are talking about.
Amy Adams
DuBose Heyward is a pretty big deal in these parts. He was born in Charleston, and he wrote the novel Porgy (which eventually was adapted into the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess) while living here at Folly Beach. So, there's a local historical connection that makes this work significant to me. I also think there's a lot more symbolism behind the story than is credited to it.
The illustrations, by Marjorie Hack, have that old-timey Easter feel, which I like. The colors are so vivid and bright!
The...more
Emerson
It's so good. So good.
The art is probably the best of any picture book out there. Remember it from a child.
And the message is great. Shows the importance of mothers but at the same time so beautifully illustrates that being a mother does not define a mother's entire life. Her job is to raise her children to be self-sufficient. and then that mother can go deliver Easter eggs!
Jessica
One of the greatest picture books ever, I read this over and over as a kid. The story of a sweet little brown mother rabbit who dreams of being an Easter bunny is just utterly delightful. The pictures are simple but I love the color palette, which seems to have sort of gray undertones that somehow remind me of Easter eggs.
Polly
One of those childhood books about which I have no perspective, because the memory of my family reading it together every Easter Eve is too dear. Although I do remember that my sisters and I were revolted by the little sleeping blond boy--he's a kid, not a cherub!
Kathryn
The Country Bunny is a true lady. I love what it says on the back of the book. It's difficult to believe that this very modern feminist tale was originally written in 1939...A gem of a fantasy. - Learning
April Evans
This is a great book about a bunny that must become the Easter Bunny. She is a mother of many children, but still must take on this task.
Edward Sullivan
The 75th anniversary edition of this classic which I believe first read over forty years ago. Makes me feel old!
Dana
This is one of my favorite books from childhood. I already started a tradition of reading this at Easter with my kids. (yeah yeah, I know, Easter isn't about bunnies)

It's the story of a little country bunny who wants to grow up to be an Easter Bunny. All the other bunnies laugh at her dream. She grows up to be the mother of 21 babies and is laughed at even more. Long story short, her mothering skills show that not only is she wise, kind, swift, clever and brave....exactly what is needed to be on...more
Erica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mel Campbell
I had completely forgotten about this until Andrew McDonald mentioned it tonight, but it was one of the most cherished books of my childhood.

I loved how resourceful the mother bunny was, and how she raised her children to find their talents and contribute to the family and household. And I loved the idea of a bunny society. I was really into anthropomorphic woodland creatures as a kid – what can I say? Beatrix Potter got me early. And now I remember how lovely the eggs were in Marjorie Flack's b...more
babyhippoface
I first heard of this old book (1939) through Anita Silvey's Book A Day Almanac online. She gave it high praise, so the next time I was in the public library I checked it out.

The little girl country bunny dreams of growing up to be one of the Five Easter Bunnies who deliver eggs all over the world. The rich, finely dressed rabbits and the fast jack rabbits laugh at her dream.

When she grows up, she has 21 baby bunnies and they become the focus of her life. Soon, though, they are old enough to t...more
Lea Lea
This book was written in 1939 but is heralded as one of the first feminist children's books. While the country mother bunny does beat the fast proud male bunnies at their own game, she does it in the "confines" of her motherhood. From my perspective, motherhood is an aid to her dreams and never forsaken in the story. Unlike the modern feminist movement, motherhood is just as much a part of who she is at the beginning of the story as the end. This is why she is honored and rewarded.
Whitney
My very favorite Easter (and bunny) story. Not only are the illustrations charming and the story good for its own sake, it also has a surprisingly progressive message: that women really can have it all - 21 children AND an important job. A review from the inside cover: "It's difficult to believe that this very modern feminist tale was originally written in 1939..." (-Learning).
Jamie
This is my absolute favourite book I owned as a child! It is an Easter story about a mother country bunny who dreams of being one of the five great Easter bunnies but has 23 baby bunny children in her country home. But with her independent spirit her dreams come true! It's a rich story that has, IMHO, informed my own strong independent spirit that girls can do things on their own & have their own dreams, not just to get married & have babies! And that's what I've always loved most about...more
Imogene Nix
I adored this book as a child but as I got older my mother disposed of it (I suppose she thought I was too old for such things...) As an adult and mother I finally tracked down a copy and shared it with my own children.

This book is of it's time (initially from memory written in the 1920's) yet the story is one of hope. We too can experience the wonder and magic that is out there. So the bunny had to be bigger, better and brighter? Who cares. In the end she achieved her ambitions by sheer hard w...more
Sarah
I first read this story as an adult and my heart ached. Do all mothers feel like the Country Bunny as I had? Getting along but maybe not quite where you want to be in life? The illustrations are wonderful and the end message is positive for kids and adults. Your dreams matter! You can make your way in this world.
Brenda
As an undergrad, I worked at a great little independent bookstore. This will date me, but it was before the days of Amazon and lots of people special ordered titles. A customer stopped in one day, gave me her name, and said she had a book on hold. I went to the shelf, found her name, and pulled this book off the hold shelf. I felt a big emotional WHOMPF when I saw the cover, because I recognized it from childhood, but had forgotten it existed.

I had a hard time turning it over to the customer. I...more
Becky
I have magical memories of this book so when I saw it on someone's goodreads account, I quickly added it. I can't wait to get it at the library and relive the magic.

So...it was even better than I expected! As a child, the magic was in the piles of colorful Easter eggs at the palace, the five swift Easter bunnies, and the final most beautiful Easter egg of all. As an adult, I love, love, love the against-all-odds-and-others'-opinions, the rewarded-for-goodness, and the be-a-good-mother messages--...more
Rachael
This is the other of my sister's and my most-beloved books of early childhood. For years I had forgotten what it was called, but had a distinct memory of a little Easter Bunny taking a beautiful egg to a sleeping child. While in college, I was looking for books for my nieces and was excited to find it once again.

When I was a child, I think it was the pictures that captivated me. As an adult, and now a mother, I love how it shows all the work, planning, time-management, and love that goes into do...more
Stephani
Just bought this book for my daughter. This was one of my favorite books to read as a child. The story and the pictures are priceless and invite the imagination to wander. I highly recommend buying this as a bedtime story for your kids, they will love it. I recently read it in my daughter's class (they have a parent come in a read the child's favorite book for their birthday in lieu of treats or cupcakes) and my daughter was VERY worried that the boys wouldn't think it was cool. The boys actuall...more
Heidi
I can't think of this book without thinking of Kiersten. I believe she owned it while we were growing up. I loved the story and the pictures when I was young. They are just as sweet and magical now. The copy I own is actually a Grade 2 Braille copy and quite old. I just had to have it when I saw it in the pile of books being discarded.

4/2006 Children's Lit. Review: "Type not very big. Lots of space between lines. Text not always blocked. 17 lines at most, ~7-15 words a line. Some alteration in p...more
Wooden Horse
1939!!! Such a different world. WWII was on the horizon. Rosie the Riveter was a few years off. Jackie Robinson was in college (he debuted in 1947). I mention him in particular because I had to look up the meaning of the phrase "before you could say Jack Robinson" and thought it referred to him. It doesn't. There are so many other subtle stereotype bending references that given the original publication date I am curious to know how many children of that time were read this book and could referen...more
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Edwin DuBose Heyward (August 31, 1885 – June 16, 1940)was a white American author best known for his 1925 novel Porgy. This novel was the basis for the play by the same name (which he co-authored with his wife Dorothy) and, in turn, the opera Porgy and Bess with music by George Gershwin.

Heyward was born in 1885 in Charleston, South Carolina and was a descendant of Thomas Heyward, Jr., who was a si...more
More about DuBose Heyward...
Porgy Mamba's Daughters Peter Ashley Summertime Porgy and Bess 2012 libretto

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“Cottontail knocked on the big front door and was admitted to the Palace. There she stood in her funny country clothes but none of the other four Easter Bunnies laughed, for they were wise and kind and knew better.” 1 likes
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