In the world of kids, “Easter” often translates into candy. Cadbury eggs and Peeps make their much-awaited annual appearance, along with plastic Easter eggs and baskets filled with fake grass. As adults, we know that Easter is about so much more. It is the apex of the Christian year—the holy day when celebrate the triumph of the empty tomb and Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Yet it can be difficult to bridge the gap for our kids between the pop-culture version of Easter (springtime, bunnies, chicks, and chocolates) and the true spiritual significance of the holiday.
Sharing stories is a powerful way to do just that. For parents, grandparents, godparents, and other grown-ups, giving a child a picture book (or, even better, reading it together) is a significant way to share the gift of faith.
We’ve reviewed some of the newest releases from Christian publishers to identify top-notch picture books that will engage children’s souls and aid in their spiritual formation. Because art can communicate just as much as the written text, we’ve identified books with high-quality illustrations that beautifully enrich the experience of reading. If you’re on the lookout for a faith-building book to give and read with a child for Easter—or any time of year—here are 10 recent releases to consider:
By Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jen Corace
Illustrated with stunning watercolor depictions of animals and nature, this touching and poetic tale from The Jesus Storybook Bible author Sally Lloyd-Jones introduces children to a baby wren who seeks to find her place in the world. Amazed by the abilities and qualities of other creatures she observes in her canyon, the tiny wren wonders, “What can I do that’s wonderful?” This touching story will help children consider their God-given value as they seek to worship him in their own unique way.
By Kevin DeYoung, illustrated by Don Clark
The dazzling visuals in The Biggest Story fill every page with color as DeYoung leads readers on a dynamic journey through the biblical plotline. The Biggest Story weaves together key scriptural events, important theological ideas, and messianic prophecies to draw kids into the ultimate battle between evil (“the Snake”) and good (“the Snake Crusher”). Arranged in ten short chapters, The Biggest Story could be read over the course of several nights, but many kids will be so drawn in that they’ll prefer reading it in one longer sitting.
By R.C. Sproul, illustrated by Chuck Groenink
This book isn’t quite as new as the others on this list (it’s from 2012), but it stands out as a touching depiction of the Easter story. When a young boy struggles with hurt feelings, his grandfather tells him a story about humility, serving others, and love: the story of the young donkey chosen to carry Jesus on Palm Sunday. This book is a gentle exploration of some of the hard questions of Holy Week: Why was Jesus beaten? Why did he die? To help parents dive deeper, The Donkey Who Carried a King includes discussion questions and Scripture passages families can talk about together.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Kelli B. Trujillo