Although we are still observing Lent, we look forward to the celebration that is coming. I've been checking out some of the new (at least, new to me) books for children about Easter. It's been fun to find old favorites as well as new treasures to share with the littlest ones in our lives.
Here are three I especially like; I'll write about several more books later:
* The Miracles of Jesus, by Tomie DePaola, is illustrated in DePaola's signature folk style, and covers 12 of the miracles Jesus performed, including the wedding at Cana, the loaves and fishes, and the centurion's daughter. The language is “retold from the Bible” -- straightforward and child-friendly. Although it's not strictly an “Easter” book, it is a good book to share with your child as you talk about Jesus during the Easter season. (paperback, Puffin Books, c. 1987; www.penguin.com/youngreaders)
* Benjamin's Box, story by Melody Carlson, illustrations by Jack Stockman. This book, designed to complement Resurrection Eggs from FamilyLife (www.familylife.org), tells the story of Benjamin's treasure box. The items he puts inside – things like a bit of straw, a coin, a cup -- all have to do with the story of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection, and help Benjamin understand the meaning of those events. You don't need a set of Resurrection Eggs to enjoy the story, but if you have them, your child will probably enjoy their connection to the story. (ZonderKidz, revised copyright 2008, Zondervan; www.zonderkidz.com)
* Easter in The Garden, written by Pamela Kennedy, illustrated by David Wenzel. This book focuses on the events of Good Friday through Jesus's resurrection through the eyes of Micah, a little boy who wants to grow up to be a gardener like his father. When his friend Jesus is killed “by some bad men” he is sad, but an early morning visit to his favorite garden brings surprise and joy. The illustrations in this book are small-child charming, and the story is one of the best I've seen for small children; it deals with difficult things in a gentle way. I highly recommend it! (Ideals Children's Books, text c. 2008, Pamela Kennedy; art copyright 2008, David Wenzel)
It's always a good time to share a book with a child!