Saturday, March 23, 2013

Children's Picture Books for Eastertide

Easter is a little over a week away, and as it approaches, I have been reading many a children's book about this time of year. Simple picture books are often the perfect way to share about this intense and dramatic story that is so important in our Faith. Some of these are focused on the true meaning of Easter and the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ while others are more what I would term as "springtime" stories, still appropriate for this time of year, but not what I want my children necessarily associating with Easter Sunday. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Let me also remind you that Easter is indeed a season: Eastertide, and just like with Christmas, we have the joy of celebrating our holiday past the day of Easter and into the days that follow. So, make sure to enjoy some of these books after Easter Day, too! Take advantage of the many Easter themed books that will most likely be making their way back to the shelves soon after Easter. And, most of all, enjoy sharing these tales with your little ones!

Christian Easter Stories

The Easter Story
by Brian Wildsmith
This was by far my favorite of all the books I discovered, mostly because of it's absolutely awe-inspiring art. The watercolors livened with touches of gold evoke the feeling of Byzantine art, and in my opinion tell just as much of the story as the words in this book do. The book follows the Passion of Christ from Palm Sunday through to His Ascension. Another favorite thing about this book over others is how Mr. Wildsmith shows the Heavenly realm taking a part in the happenings on earth. Throughout the pictures, over and again angels are portrayed watching over or even aiding in the events as they unfolded. We will definitely be obtaining a copy of this book, hopefully sooner rather than later.

At Jerusalem's Gate
by Nikki Grimes with woodcuts by David Frampton
This might be above little, little ones heads, but I thought this one a creative approach to the stories of Easter. A collection of poems, each one is a peek into feelings and characters that played into the days around Jesus' Death and Resurrection.

On That Easter Morning 
by Mary Joslin + illustrated by Helen Cann
Another book with lovely art, this one features a simple story that is easy to follow along with for small ones. Without omitting anything, I think this one takes a gentle approach to the violence and horrors around the crucifixion, so it is perfect for younger kids to be able to hear the story and know what was happening without having to be extremely gory.

The Story of the Cross: The Stations of the Cross for Children 
by Mary Joslin + illustrated by Gail Newey
I was excited to read through this one with my littles as we prepare to take them to their first Stations of the Cross next week on Good Friday as part of our Holy Week observances. It includes "The beginnings of the story," a recap on Jesus' birth and his years of ministry as well as the Passion events leading up to the First Station, 'Jesus is Condemned to Death.' Each page features one of the Stations with a short insight as well as a prayer relating in some way.

Petook: An Easter Story
by Caryll Houselander + illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Petook is a proud father of 12 grand new baby chicks, and like any good father, he is very protective of his family. A boy comes to visit the brood one day, and Petook is wary; however, the boy proves to be gentle and caring. The years pass and Petook is able to watch from afar what we know to be the Crucifixion scene. Whilst the first Easter weekend is happening in the background of this story, Petook once again is blessed with new life in his family as a new baby chick hatches on Easter morn.

Spring Focused Easter Tales

The Birds' Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story  
by Eric A. Kimmel + illustrated by Katya Krenina
Although not a direct story of the Christian Easter story, the themes of hope, love, and God's care for each of His creatures is clearly shown. This Ukrainian folktale tells of a small girl who finds and saves hundreds of golden birds from an early snow, and the gift the birds bestow upon the villagers on Easter day. Its beautiful illustrations paired with a peek into another culture are a wonderful addition, I think, to the Easter season.


The Easter Egg
by Jan Brett
A little rabbit, Hoppi, wanders around admiring the beautiful eggs the other rabbits are creating. He hopes to make the most beautiful one, so he will be able to assist the Easter Bunny in his task of passing the eggs out. Each bunny that he encounters shares something from their workspace, and as Hoppi returns to his home to start working on his own egg, he is met by a hullabaloo in the forest. A robin's egg has fallen, and Hoppi knows what he must do. He gives up his chances of creating an egg in his decision to care for this fallen egg. With Jan Brett's gorgeous illustrations and a sweet tale of a selfless rabbit, this is a great book to add to your list.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
by DuBose Heyward + illustrated by Marjorie Flack
This book (over 70 years old!) is such a sweet tale that I thought was a wonderful celebration of mamas. The bunny who this story is all about has always dreamed of being one of the official bunnies, but after getting married and having 21 of her own little bunnies, she puts family first. She teaches her bunnies the importance of a clean, organized, well run household, and when the opening for an Easter bunny is vacant, this mama bunny proves to be the epitome of a wise, kind, and brave bunny, which is exactly what is needed.

Rechenka's Eggs
by Patricia Polacco
Babushka is preparing her hand painted eggs for the Easter festival when she finds an injured goose and takes her in. Each morning the goose supplies her with eggs. As the goose heals, she starts moving around more, and accidentally knocks over the basket of beautiful eggs. But, then, an Easter miracle happens, and the goose starts laying the most lovely eggs with intricate designs. Another lovely take of the Ukrainian tradition of painting pysanky, this book offers gorgeous illustrations full of brilliant colors and another story of new life and sacrifices.

If you're looking for books with insight into the many Easter symbols, we found these helpful:

Easter by Gail Gibbons

Lilies, Rabbits, and Painted Eggs: The Story of The Easter Symbols
by Edna Barth + illustrated by Ursula Arndt

Others that we enjoyed that didn't make the top of my list:

Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.
All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Children's Picture Books for Eastertide first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 23 March 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

Heyo! Welcome to Two Os Plus More! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I *do* read and appreciate each and every comment, but sometimes due to, you know, life and stuff, it does take me a bit to reply. Cheers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...