One of my goals for this year was to make my children’s Easter collection of books more robust, or, erm, exist… We have a pretty good collection of Christmas books going that I set out for them to read during the Christmas season. But I struggled to find Easter books that weren’t all bunnies and flowers. I have nothing against bunnies and flowers, mind you, but also wanted some books with cultural and/or theological depth to them. Plus the few books I did have were geared toward toddlers, and my older children are no longer toddlers (sniff). So I’ve been scouring the internet, and searched my library’s catalog for Easter books, and have come up with several charming ones that explore the various European traditions associated with the holiday, as well as several other books that focus on the Resurrection story. Without further ado, may I present a short list of Easter books for children (and one for adults) that we’ve enjoyed!
In the European tradition section:
Don’t let the cover of We Celebrate Easter fool you. It make look like a fluffy bunny book, but it is surprisingly full of recipes, rhymes, stories, various traditions around the globe, and explanation of Easter symbolism. Slightly eclectic, but a thorough overview and introduction to the holiday.
If the adults want to explore, Rick Steves has a European Easter book that piqued my interest. It’s in my Thiftbooks cart…
Rechenka’s Eggs tells the story of a Russian grandmother who experiences an Easter miracle with her decorated eggs. A sweet tale that offers a glimpse into the tradition of gorgeously intricate eggs. Also in my cart.
That’s all I’ve currently found with an international vibe…I’d love to find more books that highlight the rich Easter traditions around the world. Please send any recommendations my way!
On the theological/religious list:
I’ve listed The Glorious Impossible first, since it kinda bridges the European and theological books. Madeleine L’Engle’s text (a retelling of Jesus’ entire life) is illustrated by Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. I’ve put it on my list to buy next year, since it looks text-heavy (a plus in my book, but perhaps better suited to slightly older children than mine are currently). Would also be a great art history lesson on Giotto!
God Gave Us Easter is one of the books we already own. It talks about death and life and promises in a more abstract/general way, and is a good reminder for younger children that candy and the Easter bunny isn’t why we celebrate Easter.
For somewhat older children, The Easter Story is a beautifully illustrated telling of the Resurrection story from the viewpoint of a donkey who is there to witness it all.
The book that I was probably the most excited to find (I ordered it last month!) is Easter Love Letters from God. There are seven stories about the events leading up to the Resurrection, each with a pop-up letter and a scripture reference, which lines up perfectly with a Holy Week countdown. It does not shy away from the crucifixion part of the story, but is done in a manner that works well even for young children. (I was especially excited to find it because one of my other goals this year was to finally put together countdown eggs that start on Palm Sunday, and was delighted to find a book that will coordinate with them. The eggs are on my list to-do this week!)
The two books below are both in my cart to add to our collection: The Story of Easter and Jesus Is Risen! I will update this post once they’ve arrived, but they look both visually and theologically appealing.
Easter has become “my holiday”, and I’m excited to finally feel like we’ll celebrate it more properly this year! Please send any other book recommendations (for adults or children) my way!
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