I sent my oldest daughter a text message the other morning inquiring as to the condition of her current copy of the classic children’s book “Pat the Bunny.” Perhaps you have read it? Most of us probably had it read to us when we were little. Written way back in 1940, it is one of those cute little “touch and feel” books for little babes. It features the adventures of Judy and Paul, the two main characters who have to be in their 80s by now.
Our grandson, Jacob, has loved all over this book for a couple of years and I suspect it might just be in tatters at the bottom of a toybox … or at the very least gummed into submission. I think Jacob’s little brother – we call him Baby Ben – will require a fresh copy for his very first Easter basket. Usually the first page of the bunny book to be destroyed is the one with the blue cloth flap on it. Let’s face it folks … you can’t play peekaboo with Paul with the cloth flap ripped off. Believe me … I have tried!
Our approach this year is to load the boys’ Easter baskets with books rather than lots of candy. We’ve seen what happens when kids go a tad nuts after too much sugar. Perfect example … Jacob is almost three and knows where we keep the snack bag of mini Kit Kats. It is the first place he runs to after a quick “Hi, how ya doin’?” greeting before skidding through the kitchen and into the pantry. Yep … and Grandma and Pop-Pop have no problem saying “Three is the limit” over and over again as the sixth delectable piece hits his tongue. I will be the first to admit to being a big ball of mush where the boys are concerned. I really gotta work on my “No more Kit Kats” game face.
But let’s get back to the bunny book. Did you know they have a deluxe edition? I didn’t either until I started researching for this column and then ran out and purchased a copy for Ben. Compared to what they have been selling for decades, the deluxe version is oversized. Call me crazy … but it totally works, especially with the furry bunny page. More bunny to pat is a good thing. I like that babies can use their whole hand to pat the fur on the outline of the bunny! Also, the “mirror” page is far superior to the smaller book version. Babies can see their whole face with the deluxe book instead of one eyeball!
There are also a few additional pages restored from earlier printings of the book. One of the pages refers to mummy’s button box. The caption on the page encourages giving the page a little rattle, rattle. My only issue … this page is going to take some explaining. How many mommies have button boxes these days? I have my hand up, but do you?
Another added page refers to a baby doll and her ball. The ball squeaks when you press it. I jumped the first time I pressed the ball. No, I am not kidding. Geez, chances are it might be kinda scary to a 5-month-old. Baby Ben is going to either love it … or lower that bottom lip and bawl. Remind me to have Pop-Pop read Ben “Pat the Bunny” the first time.
The back of the deluxe edition claims it has a sturdy cover and will last for generations to come. Seriously? I still love the book. But give this one five minutes with a 5-month-old and I guarantee Paul and Judy will be showing their age. Yep … a month after Easter they won’t be in any shape to play peekaboo, rattle the button box, or pat the bunny! Just saying.