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The Picture Book Buzz

Pick A Perfect Egg - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

The dynamic duo of Patricia Toht and Jarvis have created two books I love - Pick a Pine Tree (Christmas) and Pick a Pumpkin (Halloween). And I was so excited to learn they'd created a third picture book in the series for Easter! This is a wonderful book on Easter egg decoration, egg hunts, and a community celebration.

Pick A Perfect Egg

Author: Patricia Toht

Illustrator: Jarvis

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2023)

Ages: 3-5



Easter eggs, art, family, and community.


Pairing Jarvis’s joyous illustrations with Patricia Toht’s wonderfully rhythmic text, this holiday ode hops through a busy springtime day all the way to Easter Sunday. From the farm where you’ve carefully selected your eggs—eggs perfect for drawing on with crayon, for plopping into dyes and bejeweling—follow along as preparations continue for the much-awaited festivities. Then on Sunday, open your door and search for eggs of a different kind, filled with foil-wrapped chocolate, spinning tops, and jelly beans. This cheerful Easter-time read-aloud captures all the excitement of the holiday and is sure to become part of a new treasured tradition.

Opening Lines:

Pick a perfect egg

with care -

choose a white one

nestled there.

Gather more and

neatly stack them.

Just be careful

not to crack them.

What I LOVED about this book:

From the soft delicate, almost dreamy feeling of the cover to the front end pages featuring a flower-dotted, green field full of fuzzy, white bunnies it's clear we are in for another visual treat from Jarvis. Beginning on the dedication/title pages, an excited young girl pulls her mother toward a row of chicken coops to Pick A Perfect Egg.

On a beautiful spring day, amidst pastel blooming trees and shrubs, the girl and her mother visit "Patty's Farm" to pick their Easter eggs. A fun, subtle reminder that eggs don't start at a grocery store and a sweet gesture by Jarvis for Patricia Toht.

Text © Patricia Toht, 2023. Image © Jarvis, 2023.

The rhyming text has a bouncy, lyrical rhythm which matches the excitement surrounding the making and hunting of Easter eggs. In addition to farm fresh eggs, I love that Patricia Toht includes a touch of science to the dying process by highlighting the use of foods and herbs as colors, wax resistance to dye, and the porous nature of egg shells.

Text © Patricia Toht, 2023. Image © Jarvis, 2023.

Stew some plants

to make a brew:

beets turn eggs

a rosy hue.

Spinach? Green!

Berries? Blue!

Try some herbs

or spices, too.

I love Jarvis' digital, soft pastel color palette and humorous touches in the illustrations. Such as the cat and bunny faces on vases, the kids' various Easter egg costumes, and the inquisitive birds, bunnies, bees, or butterflies on almost every page, As well as his addition of the family's cute white and black dog. Especially when it helps with decorating the eggs - wearing sprinkles, stickers, and using a paint brush.

Text © Patricia Toht, 2023. Image © Jarvis, 2023.

While the pink bunnies bouncing about the yard at night allows families encouraging or participating in the Easter Bunny myth to continue, the text "while you lie sleeping/ outside someone's lightly creeping -" allows for the older skeptical child to acknowledge bunnies aren't pink and read into it that an adult is hiding the eggs. Making this a fun book for multiple ages and diverse families.

A few more subtle touches by Jarvis - a diverse community and bunny coins - and by Patricia - inclusion of rings, toys, coins, and notes in the plastic eggs (in addition to "jelly beans and chocolate drops") make this book not just a feast for the eyes (I wish I could show you the last couple of spreads) and read alouds but an inclusive book celebrating everyone in the community. It's a perfect Easter picture book.


- try a few other methods for making easter eggs - marbled, swirled, sponge painted, soap bubbled, or tie-dyed.

- what special non-food treats would you put into plastic Easter eggs?

- where would you hide the Easter eggs? Have you ever not found an Easter egg?

- and check out the activity pack for Pick A Perfect Egg.

If you missed the interview with Patricia Toht and Jarvis on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions and resources see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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