A book in an Easter basket makes a gift that will last much longer than another chocolate bunny, and a book about Easter can expand the child’s experience of the holiday. But choosing the right book for Easter can be a dilemma.
Because, let’s face it, the Easter story falls largely outside the reach of what children can understand.
So this month I didn’t buy just one book, I bought a bunch. Each one has something to recommend it, and one of them might be right for your family.
For younger children
What Is Easter? (Ideals, 2006) and The Story of Easter (Ideals, 2010). Both of these toddler-size board books present the basic Easter story and touch on sin, Jesus’ death, and the resurrection.
An Easter Gift for Me (Zonderkidz, 2007). Also a board book, but larger. This one presents a brief version of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and emphasizes seeing Jesus in heaven someday.
What Is Easter? (www.whatsinthebible.com, 2015). This hardcover picture book emphasizes the resurrection and Easter as a celebration of new life.
For older children
The Sparkle Egg (Ideals, 2014). This was The Book I Bought for April 2014. You can find my recommendation here.
The Berenstain Bears and The Easter Story (Zonderkidz, 2012). The Bear siblings watch a Sunday school class presentation and learn that Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paperback.
The Easter Story (Sandy Creek, 2013). Starting out in the garden of Gethsemane, this one does a beautiful job with text and art–until the next-to-last spread, which greatly misrepresents the meaning of the events. If you can rephrase a few lines, this book could be a good choice. Paperback.
The Very First Easter (Concordia, 1999). The text is a conversation, long and involved, but the Easter story is complete, and if you are looking for illustrations done in a realistic style, you might like this book, which won a Gold Medallion. Paperback.
My books of the month
My book-of-the-month picks, sadly, are both out of print. But I bought them both previously, so I guess that counts. (And you can still find them online from third-party sellers.)
My Easter Basket and the True Story of Easter (Standard Publishing, 2002). Disclaimer: I helped create this book. The colors in a child’s Easter basket relate to the biblical story in this die-cut, sparkly, large-sized board book.
Tell Me the Easter Story (Concordia, 2004). There’s much more in this little board book than you might think at first, as each spread relates something in a child’s everyday world to something in the biblical Easter story.