I've already bought a few things for Annelise's Easter basket, but wanted to add a board book with some sort of Easter/spring theme. I strolled down Walmart's book aisle on Monday and saw several Easter board books. The first few I looked at were just cheesy, happy, fluffy books about chicks, lambs, bunnies, etc. That's not quite what I was hoping for. Then I noticed this book:
Sure, there's a church on the cover, but was it just going to be another bunch of fluff? I quickly read the book and was very pleased to find a clear, yet age-appropriate, true Easter message. I was happy to plunk down $6.27 plus tax. Here's a little look inside:
The book begins by asking what Easter is really about. It mentions all the secular aspects of the holiday - bunnies, chicks, egg hunts, toys, candy,...
and fancy new church clothes and shoes. (I've already bought Annelise a pair of white patent shoes to go with her Easter dress!)
And then comes the reason I really loved this book. "Easter means much more than that. It's all about God's Son." Now we're getting somewhere.
It tells that Jesus died to save us from our sins and rose again on the third day. I appreciate the fact that there's no mention of the agony and torture Jesus experienced. I don't believe that should ever be sugar-coated, but I also know toddlers aren't ready for that. Also, as pictured on the page above, there are three crosses, but Jesus is not depicted on the cross. Another visual not for toddlers.
Several of the pages offer opportunities for parents to add more details and discussion as their toddlers get older, such as a picture of an empty tomb with an angel talking to three women.
Oh, and another aspect I know my SIL Kimberly would appreciate - multi-cultural people!
In the end, this book concludes that the fun, secular aspects of Easter - like bunnies, eggs, and candy - are okay. As long as you know that the most important part is Jesus, and what He did for the world when He sacrificed His life to save us. (Which is just what I happen to believe. I plan to let Annelise get "Santa gifts" at Christmas, but Jesus is the reason for that season, too! I think a little bit of the secular is alright, as long as the family's beliefs are just as big a part of the celebration.)
If you're a believer looking for a way to begin teaching even the youngest children about the true meaning of Easter, I hope you will look for this book. And while I bought it for my daughter's Easter basket (and may still tuck it in with her other goodies that morning), it will be part of our reading time until then, and maybe even after. I'm pretty sure we've read it three times already since yesterday!
Here are some more details about the book:
Author: Michelle Medlock Adams
Illustrator: Amy Wummer
Publisher: Candy Cane Press (a division of Guideposts)
Happy crafting and happy Easter!