Lenten season began February 13 in 2013 and ends March 30 the day before Easter. It’s both a time of spiritual celebration and fun, yet youngsters sometimes focus only on the fun. Whether it’s coloring, hiding and finding bright colored Easter eggs or gifts of lush Easter baskets overflowing with bright colored candies the real meaning of Easter can be eclipsed. That’s why Lisa wrote God Gave us Easter for children, a story that teaches what Easter is really about.
The account centers on a family of Polar bears and begins with “Little Cub” and “Papa Bear” coloring eggs for Easter. “Little Cub” has just told Papa Bear how much he loves Easter.
“Papa Bear” agrees and says, “It’s even better than Christmas.”
Lisa contrasts Christmas with Easter in the introduction then highlights the similarities and differences between them as the story begins. For example, Christmas is a time of giving that celebrates Christ’s birth while Easter celebrates the “bigger story,” the gift of eternal life Jesus paid for with his life.
She uses the analogy of a chick breaking the eggshell at birth to illustrate Christ’s breaking free of the tomb because “death couldn’t trap God’s son” any more than the eggshell could keep the little chick inside.
My only criticism is the inclusion of topics besides Easter, such as Noah and his family, the flood and the rainbow’s promise that distracts from the main topic of Easter. That said, the appealing narrative does provide a basic non-gospel specific summary of Easter.
I also liked the suggestion that children should listen to Jesus with their hearts and not just their heads, because that “…takes a special kind of listening.” Colorful pictures by award-winning illustrator, Laura Bryant add enjoyable visual texture to the story.
The book is especially suitable for ages three through six, especially with youngsters who have a church background and for children without that, Lisa’s book still provides a basic and sound overview of Easter.
~~Click through the “List” for more God Gave Us… books from this award-winning author~~
‘God Gave us Easter’ by Lisa Tawn Bergren, art by Laura J. Bryant, WaterBrook Press, 2013, Ages 3-7, Hardback, 40 Pages, 978-0307730725, $10.99
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