It was so easy to find Christmas books for my son. Finding Easter books has been much more challenging. Easter is my favorite holiday, and I wanted to find really beautiful and well-written books to share the story of Christ’s death and resurrection with my son. It’s been a bit of a process to find Easter books that I’m excited about, but here are a few that have fit perfectly with what I was looking for.
The Light of the World – by Katherine Paterson
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Jesus’ life–from birth to death and resurrection. It’s written by Newbery award winning author Katherine Paterson, and the words have the beauty and simplicity of poetry.
Petook: An Easter Story – by Caryll Houselander
This simple story of a father rooster reveling in the new birth of his chicks contains echos and reflections of Christ’s resurrection on the first Easter morning. It features lovely illustrations by Tomie de Paola, and is a wonderful way to help kids connect the symbols of Easter (eggs, chicks, etc.) with the story of the resurrection.
The Colt and the King – by Marni McGee
A sweet and tender account of Palm Sunday, told from the perspective of the donkey. The text is simple and poetic. I particularly loved these lines: “Jesus saw me tremble./He came and stood beside me,/his hand upon my back./In his voice was a river of quiet;/in his touch, a shelter of peace./And my fear flew away/like a bird set free.”
God Gave us Easter – by Lisa Tawn Bergren
In this book, Papa Bear explains to his cub why Easter is even better than Christmas: “Because on Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. But on Easter, we remember we get to be with him forever.” He explains the meaning of various symbols associated with Easter, all the while keeping the focus on the Gospel and the true meaning of Easter.
Peter’s First Easter – by Walter Wangerin Jr.
This is the longest of the picture books we read for Easter this year — it’s almost more of a short chapter book. The story is told from Peter’s perspective, beginning with the Last Supper, continuing on through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and ending with Jesus’ appearance to his disciples when they were out fishing. It’s a beautiful and detailed telling of Christ’s passion and resurrection.