It's egg-painting time in the egg-shaped Easter Bunny Saves the Day, the first of two novelty board books by Brigit Meyer, illus. by Anne Mussenbrock. Here the bunny's cottony tail pokes out of a die-cut hole on the cover. In The Little Easter Surprise, a "cracked" cardboard eggshell on the cover slides up to reveal the little Easter surprise itself—a newborn chick who needs help finding its mother. (Parklane, $5.99 each 10p ages 2-5 ISBN 1-59384-037-3; -038-1; Feb.)

The Easter Bunny seeks out help in the first of two die-cut board books by Hans Wilhelm, Quacky Ducky's Easter Fun. Quacky Ducky is more than happy to assist—though in the end most of the paint ends up on the pair of Easter artisans. The diminutive star returns for Quacky Ducky's Easter Egg and, in searching for hidden eggs, discovers an even better surprise—a new friend. (HarperCollins, $5.99 each 12p ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. ISBN 0-06-053431-1;-053430-3; Feb.)

A pair of board books by Keith Faulkner feature die-cut covers with 3-D renderings of the title characters. Bedtime, Bunny!, illus. by Manhar Chauhan, follows a very determined Bunny looking for places to hide his eggs and meeting with less than cooperative responses from the farm animals. In Good Morning, Chick!, Chick scouts the farmyard for playmates while everyone is busy preparing for Easter. Chauhan's colorful animals look like they've been assembled from pieces of wood shaped with a jigsaw. (PSS!, $4.99 each 12p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-8431-0636-0; -0650-6; Jan.)

New to the board book format, The Legend of the Easter Egg by Lori Walburg, illus. by James Bernardin, is adapted from the book of the same title first published in 1999. When Thomas's sister gets scarlet fever just before Easter, Thomas must stay with a neighbor, who cheers him by explaining the symbolism of Easter eggs: "Well, just as a chick breaks out of an egg... Jesus broke out of the grave. And because he did, Jesus gives us life that lasts forever. That is the promise and joy of Easter!" (Zonderkidz, $6.99 ages up to 4 ISBN 0-310-70785-4; Feb.)

Tote-Along Soft Shapes: My Easter Basket, illus. by Bob Filipowich, is a sturdy foam book with handles. Each spread poses questions about how many surprises are hopping, chirping or fluttering behind the removable foam Easter eggs embedded in the facing page. Children can then find the animals hiding beneath. (Innovative Kids, $9.99 6p ages 1-4 ISBN 1-58476-220-9; Jan.)

Following the die-cut paperback format of their earlier Countdown titles, AnnMarie Harris and Claudine Gévry offer Countdown to Easter, a rhyming poem that guides readers through different aspects of Easter while counting down from 10 to one. (PSS!, $3.99 24p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-8431-0757-X; Jan.)

Die-cut in the shape of a basket, First Holiday Books: My Easter Basket Book offers an array of tactile sensations through the treats tucked inside. The loosely rhymed text accompanies photos of traditional Easter goodies along with a variety of touchable inserts (fuzz for a woolly toy lamb, tacky paper on the surface of a sticky lollipop); a shiny foil-covered egg brightens the cover. (Kingfisher, $7.95 12p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-7534-5694-X; Feb.)

Bunny delivers Easter eggs to all his woodland friends in the paperback original Hippity Skippity Easter by Maria Fleming, illus. by Katy Bratun. This rhyming text follows Bunny's rollicking journey: "Hippity High. Hippity Low. Hippity, zippity. Go! Go! Go!" Bunny's enthusiasm deflates when he accidentally trips over his friend Turtle and breaks all his eggs. But his friends come together to give the dejected rabbit an Easter surprise. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $3.50 paper 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-439-56147-4; Feb.)

Numerous Easter riddles await readers in the novelty book How Do You Know It's Easter? A Springtime Lift-the-Flap Book by Dian Curtis Regan, illus. by Fumi Kosaka. After reading hints on each page ("We grow tall in the spring to color the world. Gather our blooms for your room! What are we?") and spying visual clues, children can lift gatefold flaps that reveal the answer. Not all of the answers will be intuitive to young readers, however (such as the answer to the above, "Lilies, daisies, and daffodils"). Kosaka's textured, pastel illustrations bring subdued charm to the text. (S&S/Little Simon, $7.99 24p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-689-86155-9; Feb.)

Lois Lenski's The Easter Rabbit's Parade, originally published in 1936, returns to print in hardcover. Ann Eliza takes care of her farmyard animals all year round, so the animals decide to make Easter very special for her. With some help from the boisterous, bumbling and occasionally rude Easter Bunny, the animals pull together a lovely celebration. The vintage illustrations are particularly pleasing. (Random, $12.95 40p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-375-82748-4; Jan.)

The famous white feline loses her Easter bonnet in Hello Kitty's Easter Bonnet Surprise, illus. by Jean Hirashima, but fans can help her decorate a new one with some of the 75 stickers affixed to two pages in this book. (Abrams, $12.95 24p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-8109-4819-2; Mar.)

Previously appearing in The Crunchy, Munchy Christmas Tree, series stars (and siblings) Harry and Emily return for a nearly calamitous holiday in Easter Egg Disaster: A Harry and Emily Adventure by Karen Gray Ruelle. Despite their best intentions, the pair breaks copious quantities of eggs and discovers—too late—that boots and radiators turn out to be less-than-ideal hiding places for hardboiled or chocolate eggs. (Holiday, $14.95 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-8234-1806-5; $4.95 paper -1823-5; Mar.)

More holiday misadventures await readers in Minnie and Moo: The Attack of the Easter Bunnies by Denys Cazet. When they hear that the farmer is too old to dress up as the Easter Bunny, the bovine duo decides to find a replacement. Cazet's illustrations of various animals' homemade Easter Bunny costumes (e.g., turkeys Zeke and Zack with bananas affixed to their heads as ears) are particularly funny. (HarperCollins, $15.99 48p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-06-000506-8; Feb.)

A companion to their Off to Plymouth Rock!, Dandi Daley Mackall's Journey, Easter Journey!, illus. by Gene Barretta, pairs mostly happy, cartoonlike art with rhyming verses charting Jesus' life, death and resurrection as parts of a journey: "Jesus on a journey, carried to a cold, dark cave,/ Soldiers guarding Jesus, who's left inside the tomb./ Early Easter morning, women come to mourn his death,/ But the stone is rolled away from the empty room!" (Tommy Nelson, $9.99 hardcover 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 1-4003-0373-7; Feb.)

The VeggieTales cast teams up for An Easter Carol by Cindy Kenney, in which the angel Hope takes the miserly Ebenezer Nezzer (played by a cucumber) to visit Easter Past, Easter Present and Easter Future to teach him the true spirit of the holiday. The book ties in with a VeggieTales video newly released by Word Entertainment. (Zonderkidz, $12.99 48p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-310-70673-4; Feb.)