Book review: Hunwick’s Egg – an Australian Easter story

The following review is by Catherine Way of Indirect Observations. It originally appeared in 2010, and with Easter around the corner I thought many of you might enjoy hearing about this lovely book from another part of the world. – Kara

For this Easter, being Australian, I have chosen to review Hunwick’s Egg by Mem Fox, illustrated by Pamela Lofts.

After a storm, Hunwick the bilby finds a wonderful egg.  When no-one claims the egg, Hunwick decides he will care for it.  He befriends the egg and takes good care of it.  But when the egg doesn’t hatch Hunwick’s friends worry.  But Hunwick is not upset, he knows the secret of the egg.

This charming story of explores the theme of friendship and unconditional love. Hunwick’s relationship with the egg reminds me of my son’s relationship with his teddy.  For my son, his teddy is someone who always loves him, listens to him and keeps him company.  And I think that is why my son loves this story, because the egg provides friendship for Hunwick and Hunwick loves the egg whether it hatches or not.

The story is accompanied by beautiful detailed illustrations of Australian desert plants and animals.

I thought that this Australian Easter story would be an appropriate review for the Easter weekend because in Australia, many believe that Easter eggs are delivered not by the Easter bunny but by the Easter bilby. By buying bilby-shaped chocolates at Easter, rather than rabbit-shaped chocolates, Australians are supporting research and conservation of bilbies.

You can read the story of the Burra Nimu, the Easter bilby here.

Photo by Stephen Mitchell

Bilbies are marsupials. They are about the size of a rabbit and like rabbits have large ears.  They are found in arid areas of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.  Bilbies are endangered because of habitat destruction and competition for food with rabbits and livestock.  You can find out more on this factsheet.

You can read an interview with the book’s author, Mem Fox, where she describes how she got the idea for this Easter story.  She named the bilby after her friend John Hunwick who was dedicated to saving the bilby and involved in the movement for an Easter bilby rather than an Easter bunny.

Mem Fox is a very popular Australian children’s author.  Two of her other books, Time for Bed and Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild have been reviewed on Simple Kids.  Some other wonderful books she has written featuring Australian animals are Possum Magic, Koala Lou and Wombat Divine (an Australian Christmas story).

Kara here, saying thank you to Catherine for introducing me to this author and for teaching us a little about Australian Easter traditions and the Easter Bilby. For those who observe it, how will you be spending Easter with your kids?

About Catherine

Catherine Way is mum to two boys living in North Australia. They read lots, run lots, love to learn new things and are good at finding fun and mischief. Catherine blogs about her family adventures and passion for lifelong learning at Indirect Observations.

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  1. My boys will be waking up tomorrow to Bilby easter eggs 🙂

  2. Oh, I love the artwork in this book – it’s adorable!
    .-= Tina@RideOnToys´s last blog ..The John Deere Ride On Toys – What a Variety! =-.

  3. I love Mem Fox’s books. I met her at a teaching conference many years ago. She read a few of her books. She is an amazing reader as well. Two of my other faves are Koala Lou & Wilfred Gordon Mcdonald Partridge

    My boys will be decorating eggs today. Tomorrow morning they will go on an Easter egg hunt. Then get their Easter baskets.
    Easter blessings to everyone!
    .-= Lynne @ Our Happy Home´s last blog ..Our Spring Photo Session =-.

  4. I loved Possum Magic when I was a kid, and now I love reading “Time for Bed” and “Where is the Green Sheep?” to my son over and over. Mem Fox is an incredibly talented woman (and great advocate of reading to children). It’s great to see her books getting some international exposure. I haven’t read Hunwick’s Egg, but will have to add it to my collection.

  5. I love Mem Fox!

    Easter ( and all of Holy Week) is also very different in Spain, where we have spent the last 4 winters. We still keep our American traditions, but have found experiencing Easter in another culture has been so rewarding.

    We look forward to experiencing Easter in Australia when our open ended world tour lands us in that area! 😉
    .-= Soultravelers3´s last blog ..Long Term Family Travel = Homeschool Roadschool World School =-.

  6. I love Mem Fox!

  7. I love Mem Fox! Now I have to borrow some tiny ones so I can read a picture book to them. Mine are all big 🙁 She also wrote a wonderful book about reading to your children called Reading Magic. It’s a must read for parents.
    Jen@anothergranolamom´s latest post: Book Recommendation: The Element by Ken Robinson, Ph. D.

  8. My daughter’s second grade class profiled Mem Fox at the beginning of this year. Even though they studied her work months ago now, the kids still ask for Mem Fox books on every library day. I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to Hunwick’s Egg. -And I really appreciate being able to inform her about an endangered species along the way.

    Thanks for reposting this one!
    Suzita @´s latest post: New web address and look coming soon to Play. Fight. Repeat.

  9. I love Mem Fox’s books! Thank yo for sharing this new one! I hope to have it in our Easter baskets this year! 🙂
    Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site´s latest post: How To Handle Your Toddler’s Teeth Grinding and Clenching During Sleep

  10. We’ll be spending easter with my in-laws this year. And thanks for highlighting Mem Fox. We have her book “Wherever You Are.”
    Sleeping Mom´s latest post: Weekend links: My little tattletale


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