Easter is April
14th 16th. I know, because I have Googled it eleven times in the last week people on Facebook told me so after I got it wrong after Googling it eleven times. That means if you have Amazon Prime, you can still order a nice Easter book for your kids, and it will get here in time.
Most of these books are linked through Amazon. (I’m an Amazon Associate and earn a small percentage of all sales made after getting to Amazon through my links. Please bookmark my link!) Note: Most but not all of these books are available with Prime. Please check shipping dates if you’re shopping for Easter! If you can’t find a good price on Amazon, I recommend checking Booksprice, which gives you a side-by-side price comparison of many booksellers.
And now the books! I own some of these, and some have been recommended by folks I trust.
1. MIRACLE MAN: THE STORY OF JESUS by John Hendrix
Top of my wish list.
The illustrations are fresh and exciting, with the text incorporated into the images
and the reviews promise a new and captivating take on a very familiar story.
2. THE MIRACLE OF THE RED EGG by Elizabeth Crispina Johnson, illustrated by Daria Fisher
A traditional Orthodox story telling how Mary Magdalene goes to a feast with the Emperor Tiberius. She spreads the thrilling news that Jesus has risen from the dead.
When it reaches the Emperor’s ears, he says, “Do you see this egg? I declare that Jesus can no more have risen from the dead, than this egg could turn blood red.” Which it does.
3.THE TALE OF THE THREE TREES: A traditional folktale told by Angela Elwell Hunt, illustrated by Tim Jonke
This looks very moving.
From the customer reviews:
“The story opens with three trees on a hilltop; one longs to be made into a dazzling treasure chest for diamonds and gold, the second wants to be a mighty sailing ship that would carry kings across the ocean, and the third simply wants to remain on the hilltop to grow so tall that when people see her, they will think of heaven. As woodcutters fell each tree, we find that although at first they cannot understand why their dreams weren’t fulfilled in the way they wanted, God used them for much greater purposes than they could ever dream.”
4. THE EASTER STORY by Brian Wildsmith
Wildsmith’s own passion for the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection is unmistakable in his glorious, metallic-gold-hued illustrations, which tell the story more vividly than words ever could. In fact, to his credit, Wildsmith adapts the story of Jesus’s last days in as simple and straightforward a manner as possible, allowing young readers to glean the substance from the paintings, symbolism, and, most likely, discussion with grownups who may be reading along.
The donkey’s-eye-view of the events allows a slightly different perspective from the standard, without being overly intrusive as a literary device. Lush jewel tones capture the richness of the narrative, and mesh in a strangely beautiful way with the simple paintings of Jesus, the angels, Mary Magdalene, and others in the biblical cast of characters. The Easter Story will make a gorgeous addition to any Easter basket. (Ages 5 and older)
5. THE MIRACLES OF JESUS by Tomie dePaola
Twelve miracles explained plainly and with dignity, and illustrated in dePaola’s unmistakable, luminous style.
We have this book and the kids love it.
6. and 7. LOTS OF BOOKS BY Maïte Roche
So difficult to choose just one or two by Maïte Roche. I can’t find a reasonably priced edition of My First Pictures of Easter, which I recommend heartily, so keep an eye out! It’s a treasure.
You will also love
MY FIRST PICTURES OF JESUS, a sturdy little board book with captivating illustrations for little ones to pore over. This book is arranged with lots of pictures and only a few words, to inspire your own conversations with kids.
Another lovely offering from Roche:
MY FIRST PRAYERS WITH MARY.
Here’s one of my favorite illustrations from this book: Mary teaching baby Jesus to walk
It includes several short, simple prayers to Mary, with large, bright pictures of Mary, Jesus, and Joseph, accompanied by smaller pictures of modern children on the facing pages. The faces are very inviting.
8. LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING PRAISE by Tomie dePaola
A departure from dePaola’s familiar Renaissance-inspired, style:
From the reviews:
“This joyous book sings thanks and praise for everything in land, sea, and sky-from the sun and moon to plants and animals to all people, young and old. Beloved author-illustrator Tomie dePaola captures the beauty of God’s creation in his folk art-style illustrations. With text inspired by Old Testament Scripture and artwork fashioned after the beautiful embroideries and designs of the Otomi people from the mountain villages around San Pablito, in Puebla, Mexico, this is a wonderful celebration for all to share.”
9. EASTER by Fiona French
Brilliant stained glass-inspired illustrations paired with passages from scripture
to tell the story of Easter, starting with Palm Sunday and ending with the ascension.
10. THE DONKEY AND THE GOLDEN LIGHT by John and Gill Speirs
Illustrations in the style of my man Bruegel! This is on my wish list. From the reviews:
“[A] young donkey named Bethlehem and the interaction he has with Jesus beginning the Messiah’s birth and proceeding through the flight into Egypt, the baptism by John, the wedding feast at Cana, the events of the Last Supper, and finally with the Jesus’ crucifixion at the hands of the Roman authorities.” Christ appears somewhere on each page.
If you are looking for a DVD, I recommend The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus
Pretty intense, as you can see from this clip:
I was skeptical, and boy do I want to be careful showing my kids any moving, speaking representation of Christ. This is not perfect, but it’s good, and powerful. Hope to rewatch soon and provide a more detailed review.