"The day of the annual town Easter Egg Hunt has arrived, and Marley and his family are ready to find the biggest, most eggstravagant egg! Marley is great at spotting the eggs in trees and behind plants, but he just can't seem to get the eggs to Cassie or Baby Louie before someone else snatches them up. So, in true Marley fashion, Marley decides to forge his own path . . . right through the doors of the town shops. Stopping into the grocery, the bakery, and the party store, Marley creates calamity wherever his paws touch. But will his wild egg chase end up with Marley finding the big, glorious egg before the hunt is over?"
Millions of dog owners recognized their own misbehaving pets in Grogan's novel, Marley. In this, one of the many picture books that have resulted from that novel's success, children are bound to identify with the messes their pets (or they themselves) can cause when on a single-minded quest. I look forward to reading this one in story time in a couple weeks, and anticipate many gleeful groans! We may even forego the usual egg decorating activity, and try decorating a puppy outline instead. The brightly-colored illustrations just scream Easter, and will no doubt make it one of the first picked off the shelf.
Any children's librarian who has been on the job for more than a week can point you towards the seek-and-find-type books without looking up from her desk. This series from HarperCollinsChildrens is just tricky enough for young children to be challenged and not frustrated (this old lady, however, would find it helpful if the back included a cheat sheet!) In the above example, readers must help the Easter Bunny solve a mystery. When they find him in each scene, they find the next clue. The final pages include other items to go back and look for, and of course, parents can make up their own challenges for each page, keeping repeated readings fresh and fun. Obviously, the format would make this a difficult read for a group story time, but just right for a little pre-bedtime snuggling.
Thank-you to HarperCollins for the review copies!