As many people would agree, I think Lorna Balian is one of the best children’s book authors America has. She is a natural storyteller for children: whimsy, yet warm, sweet yet, with a twist, her stories and illustrations resonate with children’s imaginations so keenly and brighten their faces with smiles. Humbug Rabbit is as delightful as her other works, yet all the charms of her work is illuminated even more.
Granny lives with Gracie, the hen who lays one egg every day, Otto, the rooster, and a devilish cat, Barnaby (you will see why she is devilish!). It is spring now and Easter is coming. Granny has invited her grandchildren for an Easter egg hunt, but Granny can’t find Gracie’s eggs. Granny was worried about Gracie. Meanwhile, the rabbit children who live in the burrow right below Granny’s house, just heard all about Easter from the mouse that lives in the next burrow. They are convinced that their father is the Easter Bunny (the mouse told them so!), and ask him when he is going to start laying Easter eggs. “There is no Easter Bunny!” “Rabbits do not lay eggs!” Father Rabbit exclaims to his children. But, well, the mouse’s story is more convincing. In the mean time, the devilish cat Barnaby helps Granny find her eggs (Gracie has hidden them), and Granny colors and hides them for the Easter egg hunt. It is Easter morning now. Will Father Rabbit really lay eggs?