This collection of Easter books for kids will give you plenty of reading fodder leading up to the holiday season. In addition, these Easter books for kids make a great addition to their Easter baskets. Grab a handful of jelly beans and sit down for a fun story time!
What Is Easter? by Michelle Medlock Adams was a bit disappointing for us. I love her What is Christmas book and vaguely remember liking this the first time I read it (and gave it a good but not detailed review) so I grabbed this for my daughter’s Easter basket before re-reading it. Oops. Live and learn. Sometimes, authors you love make books you won’t. This book takes a Christian viewpoint vs the many secular Easter books focusing on egg hunts and the Easter bunny. The book explains the facts about Easter and how it’s the celebration of Jesus’s death and resurrection. It starts out noting the secular aspects of the holiday and how they are fun but not the real reason you celebrate.
Where it lost my son and I was when it said that Jesus was crucified on a tree. You don’t have to be Christian for that to make you say WHAT? My son interrupted my reading and said: “You are tricking. No, he died on a cross!” ( glad he listens in church!) So I discussed it on twitter and while the poetry of it is apparent, as a mom and former Sunday School teacher, let’s give the kids the basics and then branch out into discussions about interpretations later. If you have this book I’d love to hear your take.
*Interestingly as I said, I reviewed this book years ago and gave it a positive review and didn’t mention the tree, nor do I remember it being an issue. My only explanation is I read it as poetic language and as an adult, it didn’t phase me, and as a toddler, my son didn’t stop me reading it like he did today at 4.
Ollie’s Easter Eggs (a Gossie & Friends book) by Olivier Durea is a cute book about friends working hard to dye their Easter eggs, well all but one Ollie who is playing and looking incredibly adorable in bunny ears while the others work hard. However, Ollie may have missed out on dyeing the eggs but he makes up for it by masterminding a true egg hunt! My 4-year-old son loved this book and how sneaky Ollie was as he snatched the hidden dyed eggs and re-hid them! Cute addition to this popular series.
Where Are Baby’s Easter Eggs? by Karen Katz is a great way of having an Easter egg hunt while reading a story. If you aren’t familiar with the “Where are Baby’s…” series of lift the flap books, they are simple books where the reader searches for an item finding other things first before finally finding the title object, in this case, Easter eggs. My daughter loves these books and plays with them even when we aren’t reading them together. I love the bright illustrations and the simple holiday theme.
The Story of Easter by Patricia A. Pingry was the text I was expecting and hoping What is Easter would have. I am just glad it will be added to our family library soon. This book does a fantastic job of explaining the holiday of Easter. It discusses the origins and traditions on the level of kids still young enough to read a board book. It doesn’t hurt that the church in it looks identical to ours. My son was so excited that our church was in the book! I also appreciated the diversity in the illustrations.
I actually learned once that many believe that he did actually die on a tree not a cross. The cross has become a symbol of his death so for many that would be a concept that would bother them.
In Acts 5:30, the apostle Peter used the word “xylon”, meaning â€œtree,â€ It was not until about 300 years after Jesusâ€™ death that some Christians promoted the idea that Jesus was put to death on a two-beamed cross. However, this view was based on tradition and a misuse of the Greek word stauros — the word used in Matthew, Mark, and Luke referring to the place Jesus died (stauros meaning pole or stake.) Some ancient drawings depicting Roman executions feature a single wooden pole or tree. My religion believes he died on a stake not a cross. Jehovah Witnesses believe it was on a tree.
Anyway, the important thing is not that he died on a cross, tree, or stake. If you believe in him then the important thing is that he died and then lived again.
As I dug further I found the same things. There is some pretty heated debate if you google it . As far as the review goes though I still think that it’s an important thing to note as most children young enough to be reading a board book would not be old enough to understand the issue of biblical translations and interpretation. However a quick switch of the word or disscussion if a parent wants will suffice.
Thanks so much for all your book reviews. I have found so many great books from your site. I so often am opening up my library website to place a request as I read your posts.
Carin S. says
Do you know The Country Bunny and The Little Gold SHoes? MY all-time favorite Easter picture book. A classic! Lovely story and teaches a few excellent lessons without being pedantic.
Long time reader…first time comment. I am so glad you have mixed feelings about “What is Easter.” My girls received it as a gift for their first Easter. Just a piece of advice for those looking for Easter books to give to little ones, unless you are comfortable with the family’s religious beliefs and affiliations please don’t give this book as a gift. The ideas of death and resurrection are huge IMO and not something I wanted introduced to my children in the manner it was presented. We’ve put the book away for now. Thanks for all your posts, insight, projects, etc. You are an inspiration!!
I guess it wouldn’t bother me either way since as the first poster stated- what matters is he died and lived again. And it just reminded me of the Christmas story of the three trees (one of which becomes the cross) so I just thought tree=wood=cross. That would be an explanation that a young child could understand. Thanks for the heads up though and for all of your great reviews!
Great Reviews Thank you